Report: “Rushing to Document and Save: The War in Ukraine 2022 Web Archive”
Leveraging my recent experience curating the At-Risk Afghanistan Web Archiving Project (ARAWA) : 2021 and Belarus Crisis 2020-2021, I decided early to begin archiving Ukrainian websites, with a specific goal of creating a sustainable topical and discrete archive that documents Russian invasion of Ukraine. UC Berkeley Library’s Library Information Technology department contributed their Archive-It account to the effort, which now includes approximately 345 GB of data from 59 websites.
This was a good and necessary way to get started quickly, but a more extensive and sustainable archive required much wider collaboration. Parallel collecting efforts have since taken shape, led by Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute and the multi-institutional Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) project.
But I remember feeling desperate about how to go about safeguarding more resources without adding redundancies and duplicating labor, as each day in this war meant loss of information for the future. Being a pragmatic librarian, I am not much of a believer in miracles, but perhaps I was wrong.
I had an unexpected e-visit from two angels in disguise–Mirage Berry and Kody Willis from the Internet Archive. They jumped into action by creating an Archive-It account with 2 TB of data allotted immediately to house and expand the War in Ukraine: 2022 Web Archive, to preserve the narratives of the invasion as it occurs.
Academic neutrality and representing many diverse viewpoints are guiding principles of this preservation effort. To that end I am privileged to include the work of Dr. Gudrun Wirtz of Bavarian State Library and Kirill Babeev, a student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, in curating the archive.
Together we divided the project into seven distinct sections, or collections:
- Russian Language Media
- The Separatist Enclaves
- Ukraine: Educational and Cultural Institutions
- Ukraine: NGOs and Social Media
- Ukraine: News
- Ukrainian Governmental Websites
- Ukrainian Public Figures/ Ministries on Twitter
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.