The primary goal of the NCSU Libraries web archiving initiative is to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the university as it appears on websites developed and maintained throughout the institution. This goal furthers the NC State Libraries’ mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible university records of historical and enduring importance. Through this project we have created our web archives collections. These records are maintained in the University Archives. In addition to collecting NC State websites, we may also collect websites that complement or are otherwise related to the Special Collections Research Center’s existing collecting strengths.
As websites have become a prominent form of communication with a broader reach than more traditional forms of communication both in reach and popularity, a new field in archiving started to emerge with the goal of preserving these websites for future researchers. One of the leaders in this field has been the Internet Archive, which was launched in 1996 with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." The Internet Archive has provided the tools and resources necessary to capture, preserve, and provide access to historical copies of websites. It uses a variety of open source tools, such as Heritrix and Open Wayback, that are designed to crawl websites by following the links embedded within the sites and capture those websites as WARC files. Through the crawl and capture of WARC files, these websites can be preserved, without having to rely on the website remaining actively available on the “live” web. This process ensures continued access for researchers well into the future.
While the Internet Archive has already captured some of the NC State web domain (www.ncsu.edu) as far back as 2000, those captures were incomplete. In 2015 NCSU Libraries partnered with the Internet Archive to develop our own archival collection of websites related to NC State University and the affiliated collections in the Special Collections Research Center. By partnering with the Internet Archive, we will actively manage the collection of NC State websites going forward. This allows us to ensure that we are capturing as completely as possible the websites in the NC State domain, a process that would not be possible without this partnership. By capturing these websites at regular intervals we are also preserving the record of how websites are changing throughout our institution's history.
In most cases, content on official NC State University websites are public records. The retention and disposition of public records at NC State is governed by the University General Schedule. For websites captured outside of the NC State domain, we will make every reasonable effort to ensure compliance with current copyright law. If you feel that we captured your website in error and want it removed from our collection, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org