Thursday, August 7, 2014
Preserving Access to Online Government Information Through the FDLP Web Archive
These days, much of the information produced by U.S. government agencies is provided on agency websites, and this migration to e-government has dramatically increased access to government materials. However, one problem with disseminating information in this way that has long been recognized is that fact that when agency websites change, some of the information they once provided can disappear without warning. To help alleviate this problem, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is now working on archiving agency websites through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Web Archive. The government is using Archive-It to save agency websites at various points in time, so that users can see what the websites looked like, and access the content they provided, on the dates they were archived.
GPO started the project by archiving the websites of certain federal commissions, committees, and independent agencies, but now they are expanding to other U.S. agencies as well. Currently, they have archived the websites of almost 50 federal agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, Indian Health Service, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While they started archiving many of the websites in 2014, some websites are archived back to 2012. To see the entire list of archived sites, visit the FDLP Web Archive page on the Archive-It website. If you want to learn more about the archive, see the FDLP’s Web Archiving information page.