Week job shadowing at the Arquivo.pt from Prague to Lisbon

FCCN TV studio

By: Marie Haškovcová and Luboš Svoboda, Webarchiv, National Library of the Czech Republic, May 13th to 17th, 2024.

A visit within the EU Erasmus+ programme

Thanks to the EU Erasmus+ programme, focused on adult education – staff mobility, we were able to spend a week job shadowing at the Portuguese web archive Arquivo.pt and compare the strategies of the Czech web archive – Webarchiv with the approaches of our Portuguese colleagues.

In both cases, these are archives focused on national (Czech and Portuguese) content on the Internet.

The Arquivo.pt

While the Czech web archive is part of the National Library of the Czech Republic, the Portuguese archive (Arquivo.pt) is part of the FCCN, under the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, which aims to contribute to the development of science, technology and knowledge.

FCT provides IT services to the Portuguese higher education and research system, as well as high-speed internet connectivity. The institutional background of both archives is also reflected in the specifics of their concepts.

The visit included a presentation of the team and the campus and departmental spaces, a presentation of the activities of both archives and a discussion of the different aspects of our work – technical and curatorial tools, technologies and processes, the legislative environment and ethical issues, data storage, some services, research activities, perspectives and future plans.

The Czech web archive

The Czech web archive was founded in 2000, the oldest archival copies date back to 2001 and currently has more than 580 TB of data. Like Arquivo.pt, it harvests content on a national domain based on a list of url addresses obtained from its provider. It supplements these so-called comperhensive harvests with thematic and selective harvests in its acquisition strategy.

Topic collections relate to a specific topic or event, can be one-off or continuously built, and combine manually selected and automated scraped resources. Selective ones are intended for long-term harvesting, have detailed cataloging records that are part of the Czech national bibliography and are licensed – archival copies are therefore freely available through the catalogue.

From the Webarchive’s research activities, we presented our project aimed at detecting so-called dead webs through the Extinct Websites application and creating a database to serve as a basis for monitoring broader changes in the Czech web, and the WACloud project aimed at extracting big data from the web archive.

Exchanging knowledge and experience

Among the Portuguese projects we were interested in, for example, CitationSaver, and we also discussed the Memorial project, the harvesting of the Portuguese Wikipedia, and the activities of the Portuguese archive related to education in web archiving (training courses).

The meeting was enriched by the discussion of specific topic collections.

  • The Czech net art collection documents digital art and its transformation in the online space, providing a unique art historical perspective.
  • Another important collection is the Social networks of Members of Parliament of the Czech Republic 2021-2025 collection, which preserves the online communications and interactions of Czech MPs, invaluable for the study of political marketing and public political life.
  • The GitHub collection archives important repositories from this popular developer platform, preserving key domestic software projects and their code for future generations.
  • Finally, the Crypto, NFT, Blockchain, Web3, Metaverse collection charts the rise and impact of technology in the digital asset space. These collections are key resources for research and analysis of digital culture, policy, and technology, and the discussion of these collections at web archivist meetings contributes to the further development of archival methods and technological innovation.

We focused on exchanging knowledge and experience in seeds acquisition, workflow optimization and sharing technical tips and tricks.

Sharing best practices

We discussed best practices for identifying and collecting key web resources, a critical step in ensuring a comprehensive and representative archive. We shared various strategies for automating and streamlining workflows, including the use of web scraping tools and advanced content filtering.

Technical discussions included solutions to common problems such as harvesting dynamic web pages and overcoming access restrictions. The meeting provided a valuable platform for sharing innovative methods and fostering collaboration among experts, furthering the development of effective and sustainable digital archiving.

Erasmus+ visti to FCCN TV studio
Luboš Svoboda, web curator, Marie Haškovcová, chief of the Webarchiv e Ricardo Basílio, Arquivo.pt web curator visiting the FCCN-FCT TV Studio.

Arquivo.pt is finalist for the DPC Awards 2024

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Last updated on June 17th, 2024 at 10:23 am

The Digital Preservation Coalition Awards

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is dedicated to promoting digital preservation and associated best practices.

The DPC Awards promote exemplary and innovative digital preservation use cases from all over the world.

The Arquivo.pt team submitted two applications to the DPC Awards 2024 in the categories of “Safeguarding the Digital Legacy” and “Research and Innovation”.

The Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy celebrates the practical application of preservation tools to protect at-risk digital objects.

The Award for Research and Innovation recognizes excellence in practical research and innovation activities.

Arquivo.pt applications to the DPC Awards

#1 Arquivo.pt catalog of tools for digital preservation

Information that rules modern-day lives is born-digital and disseminated online. However, invaluable digital objects published online have been continuously lost.

Arquivo.pt is a public infrastructure which supports the preservation of digital objects published online to safeguard this digital legacy for future generations.

Thus, in October 2023 after 15 years of research and development, Arquivo.pt released a Catalog of 13 innovative tools to support the preservation of at-risk online content, from acquisition to dissemination (e.g. search and access, APIs, training, open data sets, exhibitions).

Arquivo.pt safeguards online digital objects of worldwide interest for research and education.

The Arquivo.pt Catalog was selected as finalist to the Safeguarding the Digital Legacy Award.

#2 Searching preserved web-images

Images published online are precious digital assets that document contemporary times for future generations.

This initiative describes the research and development of an innovative image search system that enables the discovery and access to billions of preserved images acquired from the web since the 1990s.

This research was applied to enhance the Arquivo.pt web archive with an image search service publicly available to any Internet user, officially launched in August 2022.

The resulting scientific and technical publications are available in open-access and the developed software is available as free open-source to be reused and enhanced by the community.

This work on searching images preserved in web archives applied for the Research and Innovation Award.

Know more

Search the Geocities history!

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2021 at 03:30 pm

Geocities.com was the first major “social network” which enabled anyone to create their website and publish information on the Web. It was created in 1994, acquired by Yahoo in 1999 and shut down in 2009.

Initiatives have been emerging to preserve the content of Geocities, such as the Archive Team project which gathered 641 GB of information in 2009oOCities or Geocities.ws.

Arquivo.pt also integrated Geocities history in its collections!

Now, anyone can explore Geocities through the innovative tools provided by Arquivo.pt (e.g. full-text search, image search or API).

By making the historical collection of Geocities available, Arquivo.pt intends to contribute to the development of innovative studies in areas such as Arts, Humanities or Sociology (see a project summary).

Search Geocities now at: arquivo.pt/searchGeocities

Examples of Geocities preserved websites

Video Enhancing access to research the Geocities historical collection

Enhancing access to research the Geocities historical collection, Pedro Gomes, RESAW 2021 (slides)

 

Web archives for research: Call for Proposals!

RESAW@Porto2018 workshop

An introduction to web archives for Humanities and Social Science research.

This one-day workshop will be held as part of TPDL 2018 on 13 September 2018, Porto, Portugal.

RESAW is a network of researchers and web archivists that promotes the development of Research infrastructures for the Study of Archived Web Material.

The organizing committee is composed by  Jane Winters (Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of London) and Daniel Gomes (Arquivo.pt).

Call for Proposals

We are seeking proposals from potential contributors to the workshop in two main areas:

  • Work presenting the state of the field and discussing the opportunities and challenges of using this new kind of primary source for research. This may include demonstrations of existing web archives.
  • Presentations of ground-breaking Humanities and Social Science research drawing on web archives, from small-scale analyses of individual websites to large-scale investigations of entire domains.

Apply

To apply, just submit a 300-500 word abstract via our online form. Final presentations should be around 30 minutes in length.

Deadline for applications: 15 June 2018, 17.00 (GMT+1).

All details at: http://arquivo.pt/resawPorto2018

Spread the word!

Please disseminate among potentially interested authors and attendees.

Thanks!

Jane Winters & Daniel Gomes