"The Cobweb: Can the Internet be Archived?"


Jill Lepore discusses the transience of material published on the Web, detailing the challenges to preservation posed by such phenomena as link rot, overwriting, and content shift.  She describes the efforts of Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, and others, to preserve web content in a publicly accessible archive.  

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has supported several projects mentioned in the article, including work on the "link rot" problem (University of Edinburgh), the development of Perma.cc (through a grant in 2012 to Columbia University), the creation of a version of the "save page now" command (in grants to the Internet Archive and George Mason University), and the archiving of specialized materials (Stanford, Columbia, and New York Universities, and the Frick Collection).

Read more in The New Yorker

Article Citation

Jill Lepore, "The Cobweb: Can the Internet be archived?" The New Yorker, January 26, 2015, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/26/cobweb.

Image Citation

"Brewster Kahle" by Beatrice Murch is licensed under CC BY 2.0.