UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

The Final JISC PoWR Workshop

Posted by Brian Kelly on 29 Aug 2008

The final workshop organised by the JISC-funded Preservation of Web Resources (PoWR) will take place at the University of Manchester on Friday 12th September 2008.

Now you may think that preservation is a pretty dull topic, compared with the exciting developments that are taking place in a Web 2.0 environment. And if that’s what you think, then you’re not alone. As Alison Wildish, head of Web Services at the University of Bath described on the Web Services team blog:

We were asked by our colleagues at UKOLN (who organised the event) to deliver a brief talk detailing our approach to preserving web resources at the University. Our initial reaction was that we had little to say. Lizzie’s remit lies with the paper records and I am responsible for managing our website – ensuring it meets the needs of our users. Neither of us felt web preservation was something we had expertise in nor the time (and for me the inclination) to fully explore this.

And you can even listen to Alison and Lizzie Richmond (University of Bath records manager, archivist and FOI coordinator) expand on this by viewing the Slidecast of the talk they gave at the first JISC PoWR workshop:

If you listen to the end of the Slidecast you’ll hear Alison and Lizzie describing how they discovered in the course of the discussions reasons why Web preservation is a topic which needs to be treated seriously.

But how should one go about Web preservation? What should you preserve? What should one discard? What are the implications of use of Web 2.0 on preservation policies? Whose responsibility is this? What are the costs associated with preservation? And what are the costs and associated risks of not developing and implementing a preservation policy for your Web resources? And how does one ensure that an institutional preservation policy is sustainable and embedded withn the institution?

These are some of the topics which have been raised on the JISC PoWR blog and will be discussed at the workshop. But hurry up and book you place, as the deadline for bookings is Friday 5th September. And note that the workshop is free to attend for members of the higher and further education community.

And finally I should point out that the case study given by Alison Wildish and Lizzie Richard has been saved from being trapped in the non-interoperable world of the past, accessible only to Doctor Who (and even then only on a good day) by recording the talk and synching the recording with the slides and hosting this on Slideshare. You see, preservation can be enhanced through use of Web 2.0 services. Digital preservation can be cool – even though, arguably, it may kill the odd polar bear :-)

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