Wisconsin Model: Capturing Weekly Newspaper Websites

LARSON, Ron (2016) Wisconsin Model: Capturing Weekly Newspaper Websites. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session S21 - Satellite Meeting: News Media. In: News, new roles & preservation advocacy: moving libraries into action, 10-12 August 2016, Lexington, KY, USA.

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2062
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Wisconsin Model: Capturing Weekly Newspaper Websites

In 1845, members of the Wisconsin press led the charge to create a historical society and urged its fellow members to gather their respective newspapers each year and donate them to the society’s library. An editor wrote, “A full collection of Territorial papers, neatly bound and preserved in the State library, we hardly need suggest, would be of the utmost importance for future reference. Come then, brethren, let us arrange ourselves cheek by jowl in some vacant alcove, that we may tell the wise ones that come after us, what happened in our day.” This progressive way of thinking helped to establish the Wisconsin Historical Society and was the beginning of an impressive newspaper collection. Today, publishers are not as altruistic as their predecessors when it comes to the preservation of newspapers. Local historical societies, public libraries, and the Wisconsin Historical Society, are leading the way in archiving original newspapers, microfilm or digital newspapers. As for the newspapers’ websites, no one in the state has archived or is currently archiving the online version of the various publications, creating a void of born digital material from the past decade. The Wisconsin Historical Society has started a test project in hopes of reversing this trend. By using Archive-It, the Historical Society is crawling selected weekly newspaper websites once a week for four to six months. This test will provide an idea of the storage space required and the associated storage costs, allowing us to see whether it is a viable project. An interested player in this test project is the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Through their involvement, we are hoping publishers will be persuaded to assist with the costs, allowing the project to grow so that we may tell the wise ones that come after us, what happened in our day.

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