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Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture (PDT&C)

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Building a Living, Breathing Archive:
A Review of Appraisal Theories and Approaches for Web Archives

Colin Post
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 216 Lenoir Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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Published Online: 2017-09-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pdtc-2016-0031


The paper provides a review of published literature on the collection and development of Web archives, focusing specifically on the theories, techniques, tools, and approaches used to appraise Web-based materials for inclusion in collections. Facing an enormous amount of Web-based materials, archival institutions and other cultural heritage institutions need to devise methods to actively select Webpages for preservation, creating Web archives that constitute a cultural record of the Web for the benefit of users. This review outlines the challenges of collecting and appraising Web-based materials, places the theories and activities of collecting Web-based materials within the broader discourse of archival appraisal, and points out directions for future research and critical discourse for Web archives.

Keywords: appraisal; web archives; web archiving


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-09-06

Citation Information: Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture, Volume 46, Issue 2, Pages 69–77, ISSN (Online) 2195-2965, ISSN (Print) 2195-2957, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pdtc-2016-0031.

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