top of page Skip to Main Content
Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

Web Archive Collecting Policy: Home

Overview

The Archives and Special Collections (ASC) preserves and makes available for research the official records of the University of Louisville, one of the oldest municipal universities in the United States, and material related to the history and cultural heritage of Louisville, Kentucky and its surrounding region. Increasingly, many vital records are created and made available only on the web. These records—ranging from campus communication and university board decisions to community events and grassroots activities—are at risk of disappearing as content is constantly evolving and may be removed, overwritten, or abandoned. In recognition of these concerns, ASC collects and preserves university records presented on the web in order to capture informational content, to document the university’s core functions, and to demonstrate use of the web as a technological medium. For the same reasons, ASC also collects non-university websites in the thematic areas that correspond to ASC’s collection policy.

Policy Statement

ASC’s mandate to collect and preserve web content has the following legal and ethical bases:

 

  • Redbook section 2.5.6 wherein the University Archives and Records Center (UARC), a constituent part of ASC, is designated the official repository for university records with the university archivist serving as the official custodian.
  • KRS § 171.640 requires the head of each public agency to make and preserve records that adequately and properly document the organizational functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency.
  • The University Libraries’ strategic plan has established the goal of “Provid[ing] thoughtfully chosen and curated resources to better serve the University and our research communities.”
  • ASC’s mission is, in part, to “provide access to primary resources for research, study, and teaching” as well as to serve as the “official memory of the University of Louisville.”
  • ASC adheres to core professional values outlined by the Society of American Archivists, which include selection and preservation.

Collecting Scope

As the official repository for university records and in keeping with the University Model Records Retention Schedule, ASC collects, preserves, and provides access to web pages created by the University of Louisville. These include:
  • Affiliated entities like the Athletic Association and Research Foundation,
  • Administrative offices,
  • Academic departments,
  • Faculty, administrative, and student committees,
  • Faculty and student groups, and
  • University and student publications.
ASC also collects, preserves, and provides access to web pages not created by the University of Louisville. These include:
  • Material that documents the life of our community including significant Louisville-area businesses, cultural organizations, social service agencies, and churches, and personal papers of political figures, scholars, and members of the Jewish and African American communities;
  • Material that compliments existing records, papers, or collections held by ASC; and
  • Materials that are rare or unique and support the research or teaching needs of the university.

Selection Criteria

Web pages are selected on the following basis:

  • Those that document the university’s primary functions of teaching and research
  • Those that document the history, administration, or culture of the university
  • Those that document activities of the student body and alumni/ae
  • Those that document leadership in or interaction with the community at large
  • Those that document the history and culture of Louisville and the surrounding region

Strategies

Web archiving requires the use of specialized software to harvest web content. The frequency of website capture varies but corresponds to the frequency of changes made to the website. For example, websites that are static and updated infrequently may require only an annual crawl while websites that are updated with a greater frequency may require a quarterly or monthly crawl.

In most cases, content on official University of Louisville websites are public records. For websites captured outside of the university’s web domain, ASC will make every reasonable effort to notify the organizations and/or individuals whose websites have been selected for archiving. ASC will refrain from archiving websites that do not wish to be included and will honor requests to remove archived content. If you feel ASC has harvested your web content in error or that maintaining your web content in the archive does not adequately reflect your organization, please contact ASC via email.

Access

ASC’s web archive is cataloged along with all other permanent collections. Captured websites are available to view within 48 hours after the completion of a crawl. Viewers may access these sites through Archive-It. Note that a header with the date of capture will appear on most archived pages so as not to be confused with the original website.

Author/Date

Kyna Herzinger, 2020. Updated 2020-07

Discover. Create. Succeed.