Friday, 29 May 2015

JSBlog on British Library's UK Web Archive

The British Library UK Web Archive, I'm pleased to report, has accepted JSBlog (Journal of a Southern Bookreader) for archiving in its Literature section. Actually, this happened a few months ago, but it slipped my mind. I thought I'd mention it now, as I'm engaged in a spot of 'posterity management' for the site and other work, such as the Maxwell Gray biography, that seems worth recording.

Angela Williams suggested the BL web archive to me a while back (she runs the excellent Literary Places - excellent in terms of well-researched content, photography, and general polish of presentation) which has been archived by the BL, as ID 59441224, since 2011. I didn't do anything at first, as I wasn't sure of JSBlog's worthiness for inclusion. But I reviewed the content last year, and applied on basis of its long-running 'crossover' coverage of southern English historical, literary and topographical topics, especially those related to the Isle of Wight and the coast of south Devon.

The Literary Places entry suggests the BL crawls sites twice a year.

In the light of the UK Web Archive terms and conditions about copyrighted material, it felt safer to do a little work first. With some older posts, I found I'd been a little cavalier about copyright, assuming large chunks of quotation to be invariably OK under fair use (which isn't true - there are limits), as well as assuming it OK to repost unattributed but ubiquitous images (e.g. postcard pictures that crop up on every amateur site about a place). 'Found' images are always problematical: the physical originals are often clearly out of copyright, but people are within their rights to assert fresh copyright on their own scan, and they don't always make clear the status on that front.

I've also put in solid thought about the exact conditions even when those are known: for instance, issues such as what precisely is "fair use for the purposes of criticism/review" for some situation, and making sure attribution/use is exactly as specified by third-party sources that allow conditional use (such as the National Library of Scotland maps site). The Isle of Wight County Press has been brilliant in this area: they have a system for paid-for reproduction of pages from their superb archive, but hadn't fully specified text use conditions. We came to a useful agreement allowing reasonable text quotation of older IWCP stories (since the actual text is long out of copyright) conditional on attribution to the newspaper's archive site.

Anyhow, I'm very pleased to say that the BL went for it, and it's in the Arts & Humanities > Literature section among what I still think is far better company.

This blog should be stable; but you never know if Google might discontinue Blogger sites in the future, or majorly mess with the format in a way that breaks a site unless the owner revises the template. (They have done this in the past, with a change from largely HTML "old templates" to newer ones extensively based on customisable CSS). You can find JSBlog archived at the UK Web Archive ("preserving uk websites") under ID 286294200. Either search "JSBlog" from the archive front page ...
... or go direct to:

And don't forget the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, which has done 30 site crawls since April 2012:*/

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