#blacklivesmatter web archive


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    Sylvie Rollason-Cass

    Thanks for asking.

    While in the past, Archive-It administered centralized crawling of crowdsourced collections on behalf of the overall partner community, more recently we have instead offered free or heavily cost-shared topic-specific accounts or expanded data budgets so this work can be undertaken directly by partners. This approach leverages the fact that curation expertise is local and allows individual partners to implement their own appraisal, access, metadata, and other policies. The "COVID-19 Web Archiving Special Campaign" was a recent example.

    Instead of resurrecting the IA collection, we want to give partners the ability to build their own collections of events of national or global importance they may not have planned for in their original data budget forecasting. Thus, as with the COVID-19 campaign, we will provide similar free or heavily cost-shared expanded data budgets to existing users or to new accounts referred by existing partners for those "thinking about creating a web archive to document what is happening... around the George Floyd protests" or related documentary efforts. Please contact us at ait@archive.org and we can discuss details.

    It is important to note that those thinking of creating these archives should ensure they pursue any archiving responsibly. We strongly encourage all partners to think critically about their appraisal strategies and actively engage with the ethical issues of documenting protest movements, trauma, grief, and other sensitive or complex issues. Archiving content already on the public web may seem to evoke fewer ethical issues, but that is certainly not the case, and records in any form can be instruments of power and misuse, just as they can be tools of accountability and memory.

    Many Archive-It partners have relied on, or developed their own, guidelines for web archiving materials or topics evoking special ethical considerations. We have created a section in the Archive-It users forum for partners to share materials or policies that have informed or resulted from their work. Please post links to resources you have used or created so that these can guide the work of the broader Archive-It and web archiving community.

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