Archiving the web: National libraries start to preserve the web, but cannot save everything

In the digital realm, things seem always to happen the wrong way round. Whereas Google has hurried to scan books into its digital catalogue, a group of national libraries has begun saving what the online giant leaves behind. For although search engines such as Google index the web, they do not archive it. Many websites just disappear when their owner runs out of money or interest. Adam Farquhar, in charge of digital projects for the British Library, points out that the world has in some ways a better record of the beginning of the 20th century than of the beginning of the 21st.In 1996 Brewster Kahle, a computer scientist and internet entrepreneur, founded the Internet Archive, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving websites. He also began gently harassing national libraries to worry about preserving the web. They started to pay attention when several elections produced interesting material that never touched paper.
http://www.economist.com/node/17306104?story_id=17306104

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