NARA is nearly done with Web site snapshots

NARA is nearly done with Web site snapshots

Nearly all agencies have complied with the National Archives and Records Administration's program for saving snapshots of Clinton-era Web sites.

NARA received more than 500 responses representing about 350 agencies, said Edwin McCeney, NARA's Archival Preservation System product manager.

Although the Defense Department sent NARA one large submission for all its agencies and the services, other Cabinet-level departments delegated the snapshot responsibilities to agencies and divisions of agencies, McCeney said.

In January, as the White House was about to change administrations, NARA asked all agencies to make and submit a copy of their Web sites as they existed at the end of President Clinton's administration.
Originally, agencies complained about the amount of work that NARA was demanding just eight days before the Jan. 20 presidential transition [GCN, Feb. 5, Page 1].

Later that month, NARA announced greater flexibility in the types of filenames, storage media formats and documentation it would accept from the agencies [GCN, March 5, Page 7].

Good response

The response turned out to be better than NARA expected, McCeney said.
Although NARA had set a deadline of March 20 for its receipt of the Web snapshots, a few stragglers came in during May and June, McCeney said.

NARA staff members are still recording the submissions and properly storing them in environmentally controlled vaults at NARA's College Park, Md., storehouse.

NARA had specified the types of tape cartridge and CD-ROM media it would accept for storing Web snapshots.

It received submissions in all the formats that it had specified and some formats that it hadn't, including some 'relatively obscure media' that NARA cannot read, McCeney said.

'Every time you ask for information from 300 people, you're going to get it in all sorts of shapes and sizes,' McCeney said. 'It's wonderful they try to comply.'

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