Web-Archiving: Preserving Vital Records and Enhancing Discoverability and Accessibility
In an effort to be more eco-friendly and to keep current with trends in how people connect with information, the University of Wyoming (UW), like many institutions and companies, has elected to become as paperless as possible. UW’s decision has logically led to an increase in electronic records and a decrease in creation of paper records. Whether electronic or analog, records are essential in documenting the history, culture, and governance of an organization, and records retention schedules in archives are commonly used to ensure vital records are kept and maintained according to best practices and state laws. The high possibility of disappearing online records makes implementing a records retention schedule particularly challenging in the ever-changing digital world. In order to capture vital records before they disappear, archivists must be proactive in educating record creators about records management, which includes new spaces like digital, online, and social media records. The American Heritage Center (AHC) has implemented use of web-archiving and created access points to these digital assets to promote, educate, and empower users. The AHC used this opportunity to not only educate record creators that websites are of vital importance and need to be collected and preserved but also to inform patrons that these records exist and how to access them. This paper will discuss implementation of using Archive-It to capture websites, strategies for increasing discoverability and accessibility to the archived websites, and tactics for positive and transparent donor relations.