Web Archiving Democracy

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As repositories of primary source materials, archives play a central role in supporting the democratic principles of transparency and accountability. Political discourse and many official records of government have shifted from analog to web-based delivery. Web archiving programs that collect content created by elected officials and governments are vital to a robust civil society, which is central to a healthy democracy.

This panel brings together information professionals and a digital historian engaged with related content. Professionals actively acquiring websites of elected officials and online government publications will discuss why and how their institutions are building web archives in these areas and what gaps, if any, exist. Panelists will offer their perspectives on the current state of researcher access and how archives can better support researcher engagement with web archives. Questions of professional and institutional responsibility as citizens and as employees of democratic institutions will be explored.


Mary Haberle is a Web Archivist at Archive-It, which is the Internet Archive’s subscription web archiving service. She's part of a support team that provides training and direct support services to our partners, including the archivists on this panel who are all using Archive-It at their institutions.

Dory Bower has been an Archives Specialist at the U.S. Government Publishing Office since 2010, where she has worked on a number of projects to increase access to electronic U.S. government resources. Dory began working with web archiving in 2011 and has played a key role in all aspects of the Federal Depository Library Program Web Archive.

Megan Craynon has worked at the Maryland State Archives since 2011, and has spent the majority of that time as a team member on the web archiving project. She currently serves as the Deputy Director of Special Collections.

Ben Goldman is the Kalin Librarian for Technological Innovations at Penn State University Libraries, where he has overseen web archiving efforts since 2012.

Roger Christman is the Governors’ Records Archivist at the Library of Virginia. In his spare time, he also manages the Library’s web archiving program.

Nicholas Worby is the Government Information and Statistics Librarian as well as the Web Archives Program Coordinator at the University of Toronto.

Ian Milligan is an associate professor of digital and Canadian history at the University of Waterloo. He’s leading a Mellon-funded project to develop a cloud-based infrastructure for the analysis of web archives.