2019 MDOS / Web Archiving Section Joint Annual Meeting Minutes

Metadata and Digital Object / Web Archiving Section Joint Meeting

SAA 2019 Austin, TX

Saturday, August 3, 11:30am-12:45pm

[Anyone attending the meeting may take notes in this shared note-taking document.]


For the interactive portion of the panel, go to PollEv.com/alexisantrac784 OR
text ALEXISANTRAC784 to 37607

Meeting notes:

10:31 - Meeting began


Introduction to the bitly link

Reports from both sections and introductions

Alexis Antracoli - Web Archiving section review

Overview of new committee members

Year in Review

Carolyn Runyon - MDOS review

Overview of membership and open positions

Goals for 2019-2020

10:39 Debate Panel Introduced

Sumitra Duncan, NYARC

Jane Kelly,  #MeToo Collection

Greg Wiedeman

Question asked of the audience via online poll: What standards do you use and/or prefer?

GW - There is a lot of hidden metadata that we should expose to our users.  Web archives require a lot more intervention by archivists, which should be documented. 

JK - Metadata should be useful for the user.  Technical metadata is a source of information that can be very useful. There is a lack of awareness that web archives exist or where to find them.

SD - Metadata should be forward looking, so that we are not having to revise previous work. 

CR - Is implementing a file description at the file level worth the effort?

GW - DACS says a lot about the idea, but we need to decide the level ourselves.  The better the description the better the search results.

CR - What metadata standards work better or worse for web archiving?

SD - How and who is using the collection? Developed a metadata profile.  NYARC standard is specific for the institution, based on bibliographic practices. Can be mapped to Dublin Core. Would like to see more interoperability between systems and APIs. They create their metatdatvin OCLC and/or extract from web sites that are still live, rather than putting it in Archive-It, but others do it in Archive-It. It would be better if it could be more seamless. 

GW - Encourages the use of DACS.  Archival principles can be applied to the web.  But recognizes the limitations of DACS.

JK - All of them (lol)?  Each situation will require a different standard.

AA - Ethical question.  Have you been involved in creating strategies for documenting underserved communities?

JK - There has been thought and research.  Ideas around privacy. Context of what the creator is operating in.  Expectations of privacy. Is it ok to archive without contacting the creator?  Contacting the creator to let them know their material is being archived.

SD - This is an important issue.  Makes sure gains permission. Legal implications.

GW - Actively trying to charge position so that they are able to focus more on this work.

CR - What are your strategies for archiving controversial content?

JK - Working with the “Me Too” project there have been some concerns.  Luckily has access to lawyers. Contextualize difficult material is difficult.  Patrons/users will reach out and let the archivists know their displeasure.

GW - Tries to inform the user.

SD - While existing collections does not currently host anything that is controversial, there are ongoing conversations.

Audience Question: Are there sufficient educational resources to support archivists in metadata and web archiving?

SD - There are resources, but not too many at the non-technical level.

GW - Standards need to be more accessible/understandable.

JK - We do not receive enough institutional support.  This should probably be a full-time position, not something else in a list of tasks.

RC - Resources are scarce, what are some successful methods for making the case to administrators that web archiving is important?

SD - Make the case to administration that dovetail with existing initiatives.

GW - These collections need to be more accessible.  Which will facilitate use, which will facilitate more archiving.

JK - Know the jargon so that you can appeal to the institution’s mission and administration.

AA - What are some free ways to make metadata accessible around the web?

SD - NYARC has Archive-It but also has a search widget that just searches the text of all web archives. 

GW - Put your metadata in whatever systems work with what you already doing.

JK - Take advantage of opportunities.

CR - As a professional field, are we heading in a positive direction (or any direction in particular) in relation to web archiving?

GW - Yes, but there is room for improvement.  Archives has a lot of standards to approach the same problem.  There haven’t been a lot of formalized web archiving standards put forth.

JK - It would be nice if there was an easy answer for web archiving (like RDA or DACS) but there isn’t.  And there might not be a clear direction. We need to just do the work. Iterative process.  

SD - The way forward is fractured, and maybe having a single answer may not suit all cases.

11:29 - Audience questions

Concept of the right to be forgotten in Europe?

JK - Works in the U.S. so this is not yet a problem here.  Could maybe make seeds private for possible future access. The nature of some of the collections will not allow certain things be forgotten.  Her institutional context is one where they might be collecting content that some would not want made available but their mission is to preserve it. 

GW - Be empathetic toward the subject of the archiving.  Ethical.

SD - Case by case.  Ask the subject if they are aware.  Will suppress if requested (no one has requested yet). Rely on policy.

Audience - says that seeds on archive-it can be made private, while not deleting the content.

Public comments in a collection of the governor of a state.  Some are cleaned up? Should this happen?

GW - Collect the tweets of the subject.  Not the tweets of people responding to the original tweets.

JK - “But is it on the internet” is not the job of the archivist to make individuals aware of what they are saying on the internet might last forever.

SD - The archivist should not be cleaning up the comments.

The difference between the interactivity of social media vs. a journal or letter?  And when that tweet is archived, does it change the nature of that object?

GW - What is the archivist trying to do?  Capture the experience? Capture the public sentiment?  What are other ways that you could document these experiences?

JK - Data vs look and feel of what is being said and done.  Data vs experience.

Organizing priorities?  What is a priority?

SD - Institutional collaboration.  Discussion. Documentation. Make sure they fit the scope.

GW - Reflection of the institution’s collection development policy.


JK - Different type of situation than most institutions.  How likely is it that the content is going to go away? Move quickly.