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Issues in Archiving Music Composer Websites

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New York University
Presentation type: 
spoken paper
26 Sept Monday
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LoC Madison Building: Montpelier Rm.

This presentation reports on a joint project between New York University Libraries and the Internet Archive to archive the websites of contemporary composers. The project, begun in early 2015 with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to find the best combinations of automated and manual methods for archiving composer websites. The corpus collected shows how early-career composers represent themselves with a web presence. The presentation will both offer a progress report on this project, and discuss how this project is relevant to other types of web archiving, particular to the archiving of websites containing audiovisual material. One part of the presentation will focus on the difficulties of archiving streaming media, and the attempts to extend existing web archiving tools and services to not only collect audio and video streams, but also to present the results in proper context. Building relationships and executing contracts between the collection and Composers will also be covered, as will efforts to preserve higher quality media files than those placed on the Composers' websites.
Takeaways from this session include: knowledge of the features and limitations of traditional web crawlers and methods of enhancement to support capturing streaming media and other dynamically generated content types; information about the challenges of collecting streaming media and presenting it within context; understanding how fully automated solutions to web archiving may not be sufficient for libraries and archives seeking to preserve the early work of creative people; ideas on how an archive might develop a program to archive the works of local/domestic contemporary creators who might later become famous; issues in building working relationships between the archive and the Composer/Artist.