The Council on Library and Information Resources and Digital Library Federation to be Fiscal Host for IIPC

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and Digital Library Federation (DLF) have agreed to serve as new fiscal host for the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), a global organization that coordinates efforts across libraries and other institutions to preserve internet content for the future.

Chartered in 2003 with 12 founding members , IIPC currently has 54 members on six continents. A 15-member steering committee serves as an executive board and defines and oversees organizational strategy. The organization’s work focuses on enabling internet content from around the world to be archived, secured, and accessed over time; fostering the development and use of common tools, techniques, and standards that enable the creation of international archives; and encouraging and supporting cultural heritage institutions to address internet archiving and preservation.

As financial sponsor, CLIR will manage banking for the organization and will be responsible for processing payments, accounting, and financial reporting. IIPC will remain independent and be responsible for managing membership and member communications, setting strategic directions, and organizing activities and events. DLF will offer relevant programmatic and community connections through its working groups, conferences, and collaborating groups, including the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), which also finds a home at CLIR/DLF.

“We are very excited to work with CLIR/DLF on bringing fiscal stability to the IIPC and to partner with a mission-aligned organization also dedicated to advancing preservation and access for our shared cultural heritage. Their support of the library and archives community and work to advance the field is invaluable and we know this is just the beginning of a fantastic collaboration,” said IIPC Vice-Chair Jefferson Bailey of the Internet Archive, who, with Steering Committee member Abbie Grotke of the Library of Congress, worked on the arrangements for IIPC.

DLF Director Bethany Nowviskie added, “We’re thrilled to offer support for an international organization so closely aligned with the digital preservation interests and goals of the CLIR/DLF community. IIPC is unique in its global reach and the level of expertise its members bring to the challenge of web archiving.”

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.

The Digital Library Federation, founded in 1995, is a robust and diverse community of practitioners who advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. DLF connects its parent organization, CLIR, to an active network of 162 member institutions, including colleges, universities, public libraries, museums, labs, agencies, and consortia.

Open letter by IIPC Chair

Dear colleagues,

As we are about to gather in London for a week of web archiving events, the time has come to greet our new members and new Steering Committee members.

This year, we are welcoming 4 new member organisations who have recently joined the Consortium: National Library of Ireland, Bibliotheksservice-Zentrum Baden-Württemberg (BSZ – Library Service Center Baden-Wuerttemberg), National Library of Luxembourg, and MirrorWeb Ltd. A warm welcome to them all. We hope to have the opportunity to meet them in person at the Web Archiving Conference in London.

Following up on the Steering Committee elections which took place last month, I’m also very happy to welcome 3 new members to the Steering Committee: Columbia University Libraries (Alex Thurman), National Library of Finland (Lassi Lager) and Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Yussef Salah). Congratulations to Library and Archives Canada (Sylvain Belanger) and National Library of Spain (Mar Pérez Morillo) who have been re-elected to serve for another 3 years. All will join the Steering Committee upcoming meetings, first virtually in June, then physically in September in Ottawa.

I would like, also, to thank very warmly the Steering Committee outgoing members: Birgit N. Henriksen from the Royal Danish Library, Svein Arne Solbakk from the National Library of Norway and Kenny Chan from the National Library Board of Singapore. Their engagement over the past years is much appreciated and we look forward to continuing to work with them in other web archiving activities.

Finally, please note that this year’s Web Archiving Conference is not combined with the annual General Assembly. GA 2017 will be held in Ottawa on 19 September. For more information, please contact the IIPC PCO.

I wish you a very fruitful Web Archiving Week in London and I look forward to meeting you there.

Emmanuelle Bermès, Chair of the IIPC

 

User experience in the online archive of internet art

A guest blog post by Lozana Rossenova, a collaborative doctoral student with the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image (London, UK) and Rhizome (New York, USA). Lozana’s PhD is supported by the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards 2016.

The evolution of network environments and the development of new patterns of interaction between users and online interfaces create multiple challenges for the long-term provision of access to online artefacts of cultural value. In the case of internet art, curating and archiving activities are contingent upon addressing the question of what constitutes the art object. Internet artworks are not single digital objects, but rather assemblages, dependent on specific software and network environments to be executed and rendered.

My research project seeks to better understand problems associated with the archiving of internet art: How the artworks can be made accessible to the public in their native environment – online – while enabling users of the archive to gain an expanded understanding of the artworks’ context?

User experience and the ArtBase

In the fields of user experience design and human computer interaction (HCI), there has been substantial research done around issues of discoverability, accessibility and usability in digital archives, but the studies have focused primarily on archives with digitised born-analogue text- or image-based documents. Presentation and contextualisation in archives of complex born-digital artefacts, on the other hand, have been discussed much less, particularly from the point of view of the user’s experience.

Unlike digitised texts or images, internet art spans beyond the boundaries of a single object and oftentimes references external, dynamic and real-time data sources, or exists across multiple locations and platforms. Rhizome has recognised the inherent vulnerability of internet art since its inception as an organisation and community-building platform in 1996. The ArtBase was established in 1999 as an online space to present and archive internet art. Initial strategies towards presentation of artworks in the ArtBase reflected contemporaneous developments in the fields of interaction design and digital preservation. More recently the archival system has struggled to accommodate the growing number and variety of artworks in the ArtBase. Providing a consistent user experience in making artworks accessible brings additional challenges and requires further research into how users encounter and interact with archives of web-based artefacts.

Figure 1: View of Rhizome’s ArtBase from 2011 when the archive already had over 2000 artworks.

Beyond preservation challenges – such as an artwork’s technical dependencies on specific network protocols, web standards, or browser plugins – various interface design elements and conventions change over time. These influence how users navigate, interact with and understand context within the networked artwork. Interaction patterns and interface elements, such as frames, check-boxes and scrollbars, could all significantly impact or potentially change, and even render defunct, the user experience of an artwork. Examples that illustrate this clearly include works such as Jan Robert Leegte’s Scrollbar Composition (2000) or Alexei Shulgin’s Form Art (1997) [See Figures 2, 3]. Given these circumstances, new preservation and presentation paradigms are needed in order for the online archive of internet art to be able to provide access not only to an artwork’s html and css code, but also to the contextualised experience of the work.

Figure 2: View of Alexei Shulgin, Form Art (1997) in Rhizome’s ArtBase.
Figure 3: Presentation of Alexei Shulgin, Form Art (1997) in a remote Netscape 3.0 browser. The contextual presentation is crucial for retaining the original look and capacity for interaction of the work.

Web archiving and remote browsers

Recognising the limitations in the current archival framework to provide adequate access to a large number of historic artworks, increasingly the focus of preservation efforts at Rhizome has been on building tools to support the presentation of complex artworks with multiple dependencies. Recent developments in browser-based emulation and web archiving tools have been instrumental in facilitating the restoration and re-performance of important internet artworks, which have been presented as instalments in Rhizome’s major new curatorial project – Net Art Anthology.

Figure 4: First chapter in the Net Art Anthology online exhibition.

The remote browsing technology, first introduced in Rhizome’s oldweb.today project to emulate old browser environments, has facilitated the online presentation of historic internet artworks in contemporaneous environments, such as Netscape Navigator or early versions of Internet Explorer. Furthermore, the capacity to create high-fidelity archives of the dynamic web with Rhizome’s browser-based archiving tool, Webrecorder, has enabled the preservation of artworks based on third-party web services, such as Instagram and Yelp.

Figure 5: Choice of browsers and operating systems in oldweb.today.

Presenting artworks inside browsers running in Docker containers allows for the restaging of historic artworks in the original environments in which users encountered them, thereby providing oftentimes crucial contextual information to contemporary audiences (see reference to Form Art above). Meanwhile, the remote browsers in Webrecorder provide an environment for the recording and replaying of various internet artworks including ones that use Flash or Java, which are unsupported in the most recent versions of major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge.

Figure 6: Webrecorder archive of Dragan Espenschied, Bridging the Digital Divide (2003). Website with Java Applet.

Next steps

Recent developments in Rhizome’s preservation practices indicate that the online archive of internet art is not accessible or sustainable if it remains a single centralised platform. Instead, it could be reconceptualised as a resource, connected with and linking out to various instantiations of the artworks. Remote browsers, in particular, could become a powerful tool allowing presentation of artworks either as a link out of the ArtBase page into a new page running the emulated browser, or as an embedded iframe within the ArtBase page of the artwork. In each of these cases, users would encounter a “browser within a browser” presentation paradigm. A potential challenge here would be users mistaking the remote browser environment for other secondary representations (a static screenshot, for instance, a device commonly used to present web-based artworks). Providing a consistent and contextualised user experience across the system used to present the artwork and the archival record of the work requires addressing such challenges. In the coming months, we will be conducting further research into interaction design patterns of ArtBase artworks and behaviour patterns of the archive’s users, which will inform a redevelopment of the ArtBase interaction design framework.

A presentation of recent developments in Rhizome’s Webrecorder tool, the remote browsers technology and strategies for augmenting web archives will take place at the IIPC/RESAW  Conference (WAC) 2017 during Web Archiving Week, 12–16 June, 2017

IIPC Steering Committee Election 2017 Results

The following member institutions have been elected to serve for a period of three years (from 1 June 2017)-

On behalf of the membership I would like to thank all of those who have taken part in this election.

By Olga Holownia, IIPC Program and Communications Officer 

IIPC Steering Committee election 2017

In response to the call for nominations to serve on the IIPC Steering Committee (2017-2020), six  IIPC member organisations have put themselves forward:

An election to fill the five vacant seats will be held from 10 April to 10 May. The IIPC member organisation’s official representatives will receive an email with instructions on how to vote. Each member will be asked to cast five votes. The representatives should ensure that they read all the nomination statements before casting their votes. The results of the vote will be announced on the Netpreserve blog and Members mailing list on 15 May.

If you have any questions, please contact the IIPC PCO.


Nomination statements (in alphabetical order):  

BIBLIOTECA NACIONAL DE ESPAÑA (NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SPAIN)

The Spanish Web Archive launched its web archiving project in 2009. It is one of the strategic projects of the National Library of Spain, having as its main goal the long-term preservation of the online documentary heritage.

Our position at the Steering Committee since 2013 provides cases of the day-to-day challenges that the National Libraries have to afford when starting projects of such a scope, along with the experience of implementing the legislation on non-print legal deposit.

The BNE has become an active member of the IIPC, and has shown its institutional commitment to promote web archiving and IIPC membership in Latin America. The National Library of Spain acts as an “ambassador” of the IIPC to the Spanish-speaking countries. Apart from Chile, that entered the IIPC in 2012, the BNE is in close contact with the National Library of Colombia for this purpose, as the latter asked the BNE for advisory to launch its own web archiving project. Our position in the Steering Committee will help to show the IIPC interest to promote IIPC web archives in Latin America.

The National Library of Spain (BNE), committed to the development of web archives over the world as a way to preserve the documentary heritage online, would like to stand for reelection to one of the seats of the IIPC Steering Committee.

 

BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRINA

In line with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s mission of being a center of excellence and in order to capture the marvels of the digital age, web archiving has been accorded a major importance amongst our various other digital endeavors. We started out in 2002 with a mirror of the Internet Archive’s 1996-2001 collection, which was later expanded to span approximately 10 years starting with 1996. Our current harvesting interest is Egyptian and Arab content. Working with big data is a real challenge and we always proved to be up to it. We like the thrill of capturing a snapshot of an ever-changing, very large-scale structure – the web. We believe in making software to make archiving the web more of a realizable thing. We believe one way the IIPC can help advance web archiving is through supporting efforts developing software for web archiving. This includes the access system (OpenWayback), capture tools, and web archive data analysis and manipulation tools.

 

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Columbia University Libraries joined the IIPC in 2011, and has been building web archive collections since 2008, notably on human rights. Devoted to web archiving collaboration, Columbia has hosted conferences and is the home for a joint Ivy Plus Libraries initiative to build shared web collections for ten large universities.

The respective mission statements of the IIPC and Columbia University commit to advancing knowledge through global exchange and international cooperation. The contrasting recent upsurge of nationalism, nativism and anti-intellectualism adds urgency to our work, and this tension is documented in the collections that IIPC members have built together on the European Refugee Crisis, World War I Commemoration, International Cooperation Organizations, and the Olympics.

Columbia’s IIPC representative is Alex Thurman (Web Resources Collection Coordinator), co-chair of the Content Development Group and member of the program committees for IIPC conferences in Reykjavik and London. Pamela Graham (Director of Global Studies) also contributes expertise in collection development and research use of web archives.

Columbia University Libraries now offers to serve on the Steering Committee to help ensure the continuity of the IIPC’s invaluable international cooperative effort and to advance with energy and commitment its portfolios of membership engagement, tools development, and partnerships/outreach.

 

KANSALLISKIRJASTO (THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF FINLAND)

The National Library of Finland is a founding member of IIPC and archiving the Finnish web since 2006. It has been actively involved in many fields of international cooperation, for instance standardization, metadata, copyright matters and open science.

We need consortium level collaboration in many areas but we should also promote regional cooperation and cooperation between organizations sharing same kind of legal matters: copyright and personal data acts, shortcomings of legal deposit laws and restrictions of archiving.

If elected as a member of steering committee, we are willing to promote use of the archives in Nordic and Baltic countries and monitor web archiving related legislation in European countries and beyond. We are also willing to support new members from new areas to join the community.

Lassi Lager, the current IIPC representative, has worked for 14 years at the National Library of Finland, the last two years as Head of the Preservation Unit. Among the duties of his team are preservation, web archiving, electronic legal deposits, institutional repositories and URN resolver service. Earlier he has been working as collaboration coordinator, project manager and with many kinds of metadata issues. He has also earlier experience in international working groups and conference planning.

 

LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA / BIBLIOTHÈQUE ET ARCHIVES CANADA

Image result for library archives canada logoLAC as the national Archives and National Library of Canada has a legal mandate to collect Internet resources of Canada. To that end LAC has had a web harvesting program for many years, and with the combination of all digital operations within one Branch in LAC in 2017, LAC is now putting greater and sustained emphasis on Canadian internet preservation. ‎

As part of its work on the Steering Committee LAC will work to expand participation into Latin America, and Asia, two important communities that need to be engaged in Internet preservation, and from which we can learn from. Through its participation in both the archival and library communities at the national and international level, LAC will work to increase the knowledge and understanding of the importance of internet preservation and the value of participating in a global consortium dedicated to such activities.

LAC looks forward to continued success of the IIPC’s activities, and is pleased to welcome the Steering Committee and the General Assembly to Ottawa in September 2017.

 

NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD, SINGAPORE

Image result for national library board singaporeThe National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) promotes reading, learning and information literacy by providing a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service through the National Library and a comprehensive network of Public Libraries. By forging strategic partnerships to cultivate knowledge sharing, the libraries also encourage appreciation and awareness of Singapore’s history through their wide range of programmes and collection on Singapore and regional content. As with all National Libraries, one of the core statutory functions is to preserve and promote national cultural heritage. NLB is in the process of revamping its NLB Act to include the archival of digital content about Singapore. We see Singapore playing a leading role to guide Asian libraries, especially Southeast Asia, in preservation of web content via the process of web archiving. In addition, we could coordinate and work with counterparts such as China, Japan and Korea National Libraries, to share what had been done in this area. NLB could start off by sharing its own development and progress in Web Archiving and Digital Preservation programme. We see that NLB could contribute as the voice for Asia and hence seek to continue as a Steering Committee member of IIPC.

Once Upon a Time in the Web: A Conference Throughout 20 Years of Web Archiving

by Ariane Bouchard, The Bibliothèque nationale de France20ans_archives_bannieretwitter_1500x500

2016 was a year of many anniversaries for web archiving: 25 years of the World Wide Web, 20 years of web archiving by Internet Archive, and in France, the 10th anniversary of DADVSI law (which created legal deposit of the Internet), and the 5th anniversary of the decree implementing it. To celebrate these anniversaries, the French National Library (BnF) and the National Audiovisual Institute (INA), the two institutions in charge of legal deposit of the Internet in France, organized in November 2016 a conference open to all and bringing together researchers, librarians and web pioneers. The event, called “Once upon a time in the web, 20 years of web archiving“, had three main objectives: to provide an overview of web archiving in France, to give demonstrations of discovery tools for web archives, and to present researchers’ works based on corpora from these collections.

The day started with a demonstration of BnF and INA discovery tools, on which much work has recently been carried out. On the BnF side, the main evolution is a full text prototype searching the “Incunabula of the web” (web archives between 1996 and 2000), a tool developed in cooperation with research teams from France’s National Scientific Research Center (CNRS). INA showed a demonstration of its search interface and visualization and research tools. Speakers and the audience agreed that these kinds of tools, especially those enabling full text searches, are the key for a wider and better use of archives.

This idea was confirmed even more by presentations from researchers who have actually used the tools to explore web archives. In recent years, INA and BnF have developed partnerships with several research teams or institutions, and the conference was the opportunity to share methodologies and needs. Among the panellists were Valérie Beaudouin, Dana Diminescu for E diaspora, Valérie Schafer and Francesca Musiani for Web 90 and ASAP, and Sophie Gebeil for her work on memory of migrations on the web. These presentations were much appreciated by the librarians in charge of building collections, as a rewarding return on their day to day work.

Topics of the day also included harvest of complex objects (such as videos, books and newspapers), the notion of territory (which is a notion induced by the scope of French law on legal deposit, although it seems somewhat paradoxical when it comes to the Internet), and legal issues regarding digital heritage.

Participants rewound time throughout the proceedings, from the present day to the beginning of the web. The last part of the conference thus gave room to pioneers and precursors. Julien Masanès and Bruno Bachimont told a lively story of the implantation of web archiving at the BnF and INA in the early 2000’s. Loïc Damidaville from AFNIC (registry for the extension .fr) and several web producers went back to the early days of the web in the late 90’s. They all conveyed the feeling that web archiving was – and still is – a great adventure.

In the end, the event attracted 200 people, and more visitors on Twitter (#20ansDLweb). But it reached a much larger audience thanks to a series of radio broadcasts, articles in national newspapers  (for example, in Le Monde in October 2016) , and of course on the web. From the point of view of France, 2016 certainly was a breakthrough year for web archiving, as it gained higher visibility. We hope that 2017 will be another great year.

Video recordings and proceedings of the conference will soon be available online.

Call to Serve on the IIPC Steering Committee

IIPC is actively seeking member organisations interested in serving on the IIPC Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is the executive body of the IIPC and allows 15 member organisations to take a leadership role in the high-level strategic planning, development and management of programs, policy creation, overall administration, and contribution to IIPC Portfolios and other activities. The current leadership group is documented at: http://www.netpreserve.org/leadership

This year, five seats on the Steering Committee will become vacant. We strongly encourage any IIPC member interested in serving on the Steering Committee to nominate themselves for election.

Who can run for election?

Serving on the Steering Committee is open to any current IIPC member. There are no core or founding members that own their seat on the SC. The institutions that are hosting the ‘Officers’ (Programme Officer, Communications Officer and Treasurer) are members of the Steering Committee as long as they host those roles.

What is at stake?

Serving on the Steering Committee is a chance for motivated members to help guide the IIPC’s mission of improving the tools, standards and best practices of web archiving while promoting international collaboration and the broad access and use of web archives for research and cultural heritage. Steering Committee members are expected to take an active role in leadership, contribute to SC and/or Portfolio activities, and help guide and administer the organisation.

Steering committee members are elected for 3 years and meet twice a year in person, once during the General Assembly, once in September and two or more additional times by teleconference.

How to run for election?

All nominees, both new nominees and existing members whose term is expiring but are interested in continuing to serve, are asked to write a short statement (max 200 words) outlining their vision for how they would contribute to IIPC via serving on the Steering Committee. Statements can point to past contributions to the IIPC or the SC, relevant experience or expertise, new ideas for advancing the organisation, or any other relevant information.

All statements will be posted online and emailed to members prior to the election with ample time for review by all membership.


What happens next?

  • 1 December to 20 March: Members are invited to nominate themselves by sending an email to the IIPC Programme and Communications Officer.
  • 3 April to 7 April: Nominees statements are published on the Netpreserve Blog and Members mailing list. Nominees are encouraged to campaign through their own networks.
  • 10 April to 10 MayMembers are invited to vote online. An online voting tool will be used to conduct the vote. The PCO will monitor the vote, ensuring that each organisation votes only once for all nominated seats and that the vote is cast by the organisation’s official representative. People will be encouraged to cast their vote before, during, and after the GA.
  • 10 May: Voting ends.
  • 15 May: The results of the vote are announced officially on the Netpreserve blog and Members mailing list.
  • 1 June: end/start of SC members terms. The newly elected SC members start their term on the 1st of June and are invited to attend a first meeting (by teleconference) by the end of June. The next face to face SC meeting will take place in Ottawa in September 2017.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the IIPC PCO.