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UNT Digital Libraries, collaborators are preserving Olympic history

By Caroline Lara, Communications and Marketing Director, UNT Libraries

How much information about the preparation, execution and results of the London Olympic Games must be contained in these websites? Every national team has a site. Every sport has a site. Even individual athletes have sites.

How much information about the preparation, execution and results of the London Olympic Games must be contained in those three Web sites alone? Every national team has a site. Every sport has a site. Even individual athletes have sites.

What happens to this wealth of information after the conclusion of the games? How can it be preserved and made accessible to people around the world in future generations? While that might seem like an almost overwhelming task, UNT Libraries has developed a tool to help a multinational group of collaborators do just that.

Cathy Hartman, assistant dean, UNT LibrariesThe International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC)’s mission is to acquire, preserve and make accessible knowledge and information from the Internet for future generations everywhere, promoting global exchange and international relations.

“IIPC is truly an international group, with members in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa,” says Cathy Hartman, right, associate dean of Libraries. “Most members are national libraries, not academic libraries. In fact, the only other North American academic libraries in IIPC besides UNT Libraries are Harvard, the California Digital Library (University of California System) and Columbia.”

UNT Libraries were elected to membership in the IIPC Steering Committee in 2011, and Hartman serves as the official representative to that governing body.

Mark Phillips, assistant dean for Digital LibrariesHartman and Mark Phillips, assistant dean for Digital Libraries, also are members of the IIPC’s Access Working Group, which focuses on issues relevant to providing access to Web archives.

The working group hit upon the idea of building a Web archive around the Olympics as a way to collect and preserve information around an international, non-political event.

“Mark and his group at UNT Libraries developed a ‘nomination tool’ so IIPC members could submit URLs to be captured,” Hartman says.

After running a pilot during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, the Access Working Group decided to move forward with a full-scale collection around the London Olympics.

May 4, 2011, marked the start of the Summer Games 2012 project. URL nominations for the archive will be accepted from IIPC members through Oct.1, and the project will end Dec. 31. To date, 31 nominators have nominated 2,678 URLs.

“The IIPC Access Working Group is developing a public interface for the Summer Games 2012 archive so that anyone will be able the access and view the collection,” Hartman adds.

Four Bold Goals: Goal 4, build and expand mutually beneficial partnerships and resources.UNT Libraries are proud to support UNT’s Four Bold Goals, and believes that its participation in IIPC and its work on the Summer Games 2012 Web archiving project demonstrates its capacity to build and expand mutually beneficial partnerships and resources, which is Goal 4, logo, left.

Posted on: Mon 06 August 2012

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