Monday, December 7, 2015

Featured Online Resource: The Cyber Cemetery (and more!)

 K-Brooks, Leif. Old Computers.(CC BY-SA 2.0)

New web sites  are appearing constantly, but they also change rapidly. In some cases they completely disappear.  This can be frustrating when you remember a web site or a specific web page as a good source of information, but when you try to find it again, it has changed or no longer exists!

Some organizations are aware of this problem, and have been in the process of making snapshots of web sites so that that copies of how they appeared can be available into the future.

Please note that when you look at a web site that has been archived, you're looking at an image of how it appeared on the date that it was archived.  The information is no longer being updated or maintained, and this needs to be considered when evaluating the accuracy of the information found here.  If the site included links to other web sites, these links may no longer be valid.

The Cyber Cemetery

The University of North Texas Libraries are working with the US Government Publishing Office (GPO) to begin archiving the web sites of Federal agencies that are being taken down, these archived web sites c n be found at the Cyber Cemetery.  This can happen when an agency no longer exists, an agency decides to stop maintaining a web site, or even if an agency makes major changes to one of their sites.

An example of a web site archived here is NASA' Return to Flight Task Group, which was formed to assist with NASA's resumption of safe space shuttle flights following the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident.


This organization works with companies, organizations, and agencies who wish to have their web sites archived periodically.  For example, the Maryland State Archives has arranged for local government web sites to be archived regularly.  Allegany County's web site has been archived several times since 2011.  Some collections are related to topics, rather than to a specific web site. For example the Wikileaks 2010 Document Release Collection includes articles and information related to the Wikileaks releases.

The Wayback Machine

If you have a specific link that you wish to find, try the Wayback Machine. Enter the web site address (URL) into the field, and if it has been archived, you will see a calendar of dates that are available.  When you click that date, you will be taken to a snapshot of that web site as it appeared on the date selected.

The Wayback Wachine also has an option to save a page.  It appears at the bottom, right under "Save Page Now".  Enter the address that you wish to archive, and you will be given a link that takes you to the snapshot that was taken.  This works better for some sites than others.  For example, this LINK takes you to the snapshot of, as it appeared on December 7 at about 10:00 AM. It did not save everything that actually appeared at that time.  So, use this with caution!

These are just a few examples of archiving services that are available.  If you have a favorite web site, you might want to check to see if any of these are archiving it occasionally!

No comments:

Post a Comment