Where Do Dead Govt Websites Go? To The Cyber Cemetery

In an increasingly digitized world, the cyber cemetery has become the main publicly accessible depository for government records that don't exist on paper. The site is maintained by the University of North Texas and the U.S. Government Printing Office.

Other entities, such as the Internet Archive, take periodic snapshots of Web sites to preserve information. But the Cyber Cemetery, which also has partnered with the National Archives and Records Administration, focuses exclusively on government Web sites and captures them in their final and complete form, UNT Librarian for Digital Collections, Starr Hoffman said.

"Someone needs to take the responsibility of capturing the material for future researchers," said Cathy Hartman, Assistant Dean of Libraries at UNT. "This is government by the people, and we need access to see what our taxes are paying for."

The AP reports: The archived sites include the understandable — the Child Online Protection Act Commission of 2000 — and the unintelligible. (Check out the 2005 Commission on Systemic Interoperability or the 2000 International Competition Policy Advisory Committee Research Collection.) The work is varied, from commissions to help people have more access to health care information to panels that study 20th century antitrust problems.

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