Week 11

This was an interesting lesson. I am not sure why, but I am left with more questions than answers…

DIY web archiving

I really like the idea of playing arcade games from the 70’s and 80’s – so simple and quirky. As a teenager, access to arcade games was limited because it involved getting 20 cents out of our parents to waste in a machine! I was also so bad at playing, that the whole experience lasted about two minutes. These games and the movies are great examples of why we collect stuff. To evoke memories… and …wow 12 year old me is jumping for joy (I can play these games as much as I like for free!).

Here is what I do not understand …. Some of THE METs http://www.metmuseum.org/ collection is also posted in this archive. Why is this the case? THE MET has a perfectly good collection search portal that is not going anywhere. In this archive, you can collate similar objects together such as embroidery samplers from a range of institutions. However, if these records are changed or improved at their primary source, this is not reflected on this site. In contrast, check out THE METS Pinterest pages, it’s based on a live link so you at least know you have the latest info on any one thing. Additionally, you can make your own boards that consist of material from a variety of institutions. I can see that archiving is useful when a museum, for example, closes – but why archive material from sites that are alive and kicking, growing and changing?

On one of the blogs provided as part of this lesson, I read that most web pages have a life of only 100 days. I can see the point of archiving some pages and material released to the web. However, there are mountains and mountains of content released every day – how do we decide what to keep? It sounds great to keep everything, but we have already learnt that it is difficult to see the forest for the trees, or through the filter, as the case may be. Everything that is kept has a cost, even if it is digital – storage and back-ups need someone to manage the material. There needs to be a selection process. We need to be able to identify material that is unique and will disappear without attention and keep enough to paint a full picture but no more. Even Noah saved only a male and a female of every animal type, not five of everything…

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