Finding and Archiving the Internet Footprint
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With the move to “cloud” computing, archivists face the increasingly difficult task of finding and preserving the works of an originator so that they may be readily used by future historians. This paper explores the range of information that an originator may have left on computers “out there on the Internet,” including works that are publicly identified with the originator; information that may have been stored using a pseudonym; anonymous blog postings; and private information stored on web-based services like Yahoo Calendar and Google Docs. Approaches are given for finding the content, including interviews, forensic analysis of the originator’s computer equipment, and social network analysis. We conclude with a brief discussion of legal and ethical issues.
Invited paper, presented at the First Digital Lives Research Conference: Personal Digital Archives for the 21st Century, London, England, 9–11 February 2009
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