Around the Web - January 8, 2009

08 January 2009

This week on Around the Web, I am highlighting several Web 2.0 archival projects that I found or were forwarded to me over the holidays.


Russell James, who blogs over at Records Junkie, submitted his wiki, History of Archives, Recordkeeping, and Records. A wiki (the word, by the way, is Hawaiian for fast) is an online collaborative work space where registered (or unregistered) members contribute content and build an evolving resource on one or several topics. In most cases, the wiki's interface is similar to a Microsoft Word document or a WYSIWYG ("what-you-see-is-what-you-get) HTML editor, so the learning curve for most users is minimal. The goal of a wiki is to foster collaboration among individuals and/or experts in a field. Very useful.


A reader sent an email to the SAA listserv, which he also directed to my attention, about a project called Ashes of Waco. It is a blog about the standoff between the US Government and the Branch Davidians, an end time cult, and its tragic ending. The blog effectively provides incredible detail and insight into what took place on that event. In the project's own words:

A blog about the digitization and online presentation of archival materials in Dick J. Reavis Papers that are related to his book, The Ashes of Wace: An Investigation, about the 1993 raid, siege, and burning of the Mt. Carmel Center near Waco, Texas.

Archief 2.0 / Archives 2.0 Dutch-Style

Dutch Archivist Christian van der Ven, who has been feeding Archives*Open a steady and healthy diet of Web 2.0 ideas, projects and initiatives occurring in his native Netherlands, forwarded me information on a social networking, content aggregating, and collaborative work space called Archief 2.0 (Archives 2.0), which he and his fellow colleagues have been using to start discussions, share comments, information and thoughts on Archives 2.0.

They use a free service called Ning. One caveat, though: While the service is English, the Archief 2.0 site is in Dutch. However, even a simple scan of the site by non-Dutch readers clearly indicates that Christian and his colleagues have been building a large volume of content on a very relevant topic to readers of this blog.

Another Dutch reader, Thijs van Exel, alerted me to a preservation, digitization and access project called Images for the Future (IFTF), which is a joint venture of six participating consortium parties, among which the National Archive and Kennisland | Knowledgeland are members. The website is in Dutch and English. According to the website:

The aim of this project is to open up the wealth of 20th century audio and visual material that has been stored in the archives of the parties concerned. If nothing is done about it, this material will be lost forever. In this project the material will be restored, preserved, digitalised and made available. A total of 137.200 hours of video, 22.501 hours of film, 123.900 hours of audio and 2,9 million photos is involved.

This project is reminiscent of another on-going project by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), which is endeavouring to digitize and make accessible to the public via the Web the Board's large vault of animation, documentaries and feature films. More information on this project is available at The DIGITAL Archive, where I wrote a review of the website.

Around the Web is a community-driven series of blog posts. It serves as a platform where archivists and others in related fields submit information about archival projects that are using Web technologies, such as Web 2.0, in innovative ways. It also servces as a platform where archivists and others express opinions and comments on Web 2.0 in the archives field. Let's generate some useful discussion. Leave a comment or send Archives*Open an email (

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