The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently awarded a $248,451 grant for a collaborative two-year project, Continuing Education to Advance Web Archiving, that will create materials to teach librarians and archivists across the world how to collect, extract, and analyze archived information from the world wide web.
Zhiwu Xie, director of digital library development for the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, is leading the team of library and archive experts to create a curriculum surrounding the technology of web archiving and challenges related to how archivists and librarians can gather the most useful information from archived internet sites and social media.
More than tens of petabytes of web content have been collected and archived by memory institutions. All of the project collaborators, including Xie, Fox, Martin Klein from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Michael Nelson from Old Dominion University, Justin Littman from George Washington University, Ian Milligan from University of Waterloo, and Jefferson Bailey from the nonprofit archiving organization Internet Archive, are pioneers in web archiving technology and infrastructure.
“Suites of open source tools are available to assist researchers conducting analyses and extracting knowledge,” said Xie. “However, these tools require the user to be proficient in big-data processing and analysis. Very few librarians or archivists have been trained to understand, utilize, maintain, and manage these tools.”
By the end of the project, the collaborators will provide a collection of educational resources, a series of in-person and online training workshops, and cyberinfrastructure for deploying tools to support the curriculum and workshops — including source code.
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