Greetings to all parish communities and their webmasters from the ECCT Archivist,
In the coming year, the ECCT Archives program is embarking on a new and unprecedented “try-on” method for collecting historic materials from individual parishes for the purpose of enhancing our archival collections for future generations -- we are initiating a web archiving project that will endeavor to harvest and preserve a 2020 snapshot of all the domain websites of member parishes within the Episcopal Church in Connecticut! This work will be done in partnership with the web archiving engineers of the Internet Archive in San Francisco, CA, using Stanford University’s Archive-IT platform to harvest the contents of presently available sites from ECCT parishes across the state.
The goal of the project is to preserve our current parish websites for future public access, allowing users to access all the sites as a single collection through an online portal provided by ECCT and providing users the ability to perform web query searches across all the sites in the collection. Users will be able to view the sites of each parish as the web domain is captured in real time, and they will be able to navigate through the websites just as if they were active sites with most, if not all, their dynamic hyperlinks intact. Yet, this “active” archived website will record the unique website of each parish as it was in a given historical instance of time and will be preserved in that static form into the future!
The designated “web crawling” (the term commonly used for saving the contents of a website – all its stylistic design elements, images, text attachments, and other components such as videos or MP3 recordings) will occur throughout the year 2020. We plan to save and preserve the parish websites in groups of six, harvesting one parish website from each of our six mission regions at a time by oldest parishes to newest throughout the year. Thus, we will capture records reflecting events happening throughout the year and will hope to collect and preserve as much information as possible as it exists within these web domains.
With that goal in view, please consider any review or refresh of your parish’s website as might seem necessary, and feel free to add content as might seem fitting. (Please note: given the technology currently available, complex digital objects such as videos or dynamic style banners, etc. are harder to capture then still digital images, pdf attachments, and other similar text elements. Also, please be aware that site links to other social media such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter will not be followed in the web crawls.)
It is my hope that this project will proceed at pace and yield amazing results! Please feel free to contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (203-629-3501, ext. 135) with any questions you may have about this project. Also, please let me know if for some reason your parish would not like to participate in this process -- while websites on the internet are already in the public domain, and do not require permission to copy, the ECCT would, of course, honor any parish communities that do not offer participant consent to this project. Otherwise, the ECCT Archives looks forward to this coming 2020 new year and collecting these new kinds of archival materials in the first quarter of 21st century for future generations to come!