2014-07-22: "Archive What I See Now" Project Funded by NEH Office of Digital Humanities

We are grateful for the continued support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and their Office of Digital Humanities for our "Archive What I See Now" project.
In 2013, we received support for 1 year through a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant.  This week, along with our collaborator Dr. Liza Potts from Michigan State, we were awarded a 3-year Digital Humanities Implementation Grant. We are excited to be one of the seven projects selected this year.

Our project goals are two-fold:
  1. to enable users to generate files suitable for use by large-scale archives (i.e., WARC files) with tools as simple as the "bookmarking" or "save page as" approaches that they already know
  2. to enable users to access the archived resources in their browser through one of the available add-ons or through a local version of the Wayback Machine (wayback).
Our innovation is in allowing individuals to "archive what I see now". The user can create a standard web archive file ("archive") of the content displayed in the browser ("what I see") at a particular time ("now").
Our work focuses on bringing the power of institutional web archiving tools like Heritrix and wayback to humanities scholars through open-source tools for personal-scale web archiving. We are building the following tools:
  • WARCreate - A browser extension (for both Google Chrome and Firefox) that can create an archive of a single webpage in the standard WARC format and save it to local disk. It can allow a user to archive pages behind authentication or that have been modified after user interaction.
  • WAIL (Web Archiving Integration Layer) - A stand-alone application that provides one-click installation and GUI-based configuration of both Heritrix and wayback on the user’s personal computer.
  • Mink - A browser extension (for both Google Chrome and Firefox) that provides access to archived versions of live webpages. This is an additional Memento client that can be configured to access locally stored WARC files created by WARCreate.
With these three tools, a researcher could, in her normal workflow, discover a web resource (using her browser), archive the resource as she saw it (using WARCreate in her browser), and then later index and replay the archived resource (using WAIL). Once the archived resource is indexed, it would be available for view in the researcher’s browser (using Mink).

We are looking forward to working with our project partners and advisory board members: Kristine Hanna (Archive-It), Lily Pregill (NY Art Resources Consortium), Dr. Louisa Wood Ruby (Frick Art Reference Library), Dr. Steven Schneider (SUNY Institute of Technology), and Dr. Avi Santo (ODU).

A previous post described the work we did for the start-up grant:

We've also posted previously about some of the tools (WARCreate and WAIL) that we've developed as part of this project:

See also "ODU gets largest of 11 humanities grants in Virginia" from The Virginian-Pilot.


2014-09-16 Edit:

Links to the tools (work still in progress, we welcome feedback)