Library events

Web archiving: update and challenges in France and around the world

by Mr Gildas ILLIEN (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

4/3-006 (CERN)



Internet has become the main publication and communication tool.
All known types of materials (books, journals, images, audiovisual ...) now converge towards the Internet, which also generates new forms of collaborative expression and encourages new authors to take part in the making of knowledge worldwide. The spectrum of our global memory thus takes on a new group dimension hitherto unknown.
However, because of its size, speed and architecture, the Web poses formidable challenges to librarians who want to safeguard its memory.
These challenges are manifold, both legal and economic, technological and documentary. All around the world, many heritage institutions have launched web archiving initiatives, which is also a race against time: the speed of evolution of the Web and the inexorable disappearance of its contents put library and information professionals into a state of heritage emergency.
We need to take action, but how and at what cost? Many questions arise:

  • Can and should we preserve everything?
  • How should we select or sample the websites to save from oblivion?
  • What technology should we use?
  • How does this new activity fit into the continuity of national libraries’ and archives’ missions?
  • What will be the expectations of the researchers of tomorrow?
  • What professional skills do we need to invent and disseminate in order to implement such projects?

Gildas Illien, head of digital legal deposit at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and technical officer of the 'International Internet Preservation Consortium’ (IIPC) will present the current state of the art of solutions being implemented in France and around the world and will answer your questions.

Organized by

Susanne Schaefer / GS-SI