Cyber Cemetery: The Final Resting Place for Government Websites

What happens to previous administration websites once a new administration moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Most government websites are promptly  deleted from the world wide web; causing final destruction of former administration  information and documents.

Librarians at the University of North Texas Library work to preserve former administration websites in order to maintain complete access to the public. Some previous administration ‘dead websites’ contain information not available in hard copy, therefore  if a website is shut down by an incoming administration the documents would forever be lost. 

The Cyber Cemetery receives over 5,000 hits a day. The 9/11 commission is the most popular website. Other primary sources  include transcripts of the congressional committee that investigated the Bush Administration’s first efforts regarding Hurricane Katrina and recordings of scientest opinions regaring the Columbian spaceshuttle crash  in 2003. 

The National Archives does preserve some former administration websites deemed of historical significance through a tedious process, but Cyber Cemetery makes documents easily accessable online. 

Explained by Starr Hoffman, digital collections head at North Texas, “Someone needs to take the responsibility of capturing the material for future researchers,” Hartman said. “This is government by the people, and we need access to see what our taxes are paying for.”

“Our mission is to permanently preserve public access to government documents. We’re maintaining the historical record,” said Hoffman. 

Check out the link to the University of North Texas Cyber Cemetery.

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