About the Kentucky Website Archives
KDLA began capturing snapshots of the Governor's Office website in 2003. Most of the records found on the site (photos, speeches, press releases, etc.) have a permanent retention on the Governor's Office records retention schedule. While those records were being transferred to the archives in paper and electronic formats, the website offered a unique arrangement of those records and often provided more context and metadata about the records. For example, the State Archives received photos from the Office of Creative Services, but in many cases, the photos were in a folder with an event title and date, with no other information about the photos. The website, however, may have only had a small selection of photos from the same even, but they provided more context with captions and, in many cases, a link to a press release about the event. This demonstrated the value of the website as an historical record of the Governor's Office. In December of 2005 records series, 05444 Governor's Office Website, was added to the Governor's Office retention schedule as a permanent record.
In the late 1990's, KDLA did its own harvesting of websites with a tool called Grab-A-Site from Blue Squirrel Technologies (www.bluesquirrel.com/products/grabasite/). Using pages found in the Internet Archive (www.archive.org) and files from the Governor's Office web server, KDLA was able to reconstruct the Governor's Website from 1997, the first website used by the Governor's Office. For the next few years, KDLA conducted its own harvests of the Governor's Office website on a periodic basis. These harvests included the sites of the Lieutenant Governor and the First Lady. The website at this time was relatively simple in structure with records (photos, text of speeches, press releases) being fairly easy to capture.
In 2006 the use of the Governor's Office website expanded as the more and more digital audio and video files were added. Website design and management technology was changing as well, with the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), templates, and Content Management Systems (CMS) making web capture more difficult. Click on the image on the left to see an example of a page capture without the CSS (left-hand image) and the page with the CSS (right-hand image.)
Due to the growing complexity of website construction, the use of content management systems (CMS), and the growing use of social media (to the left is a capture of Governor Beshear's YouTube page from June 2013,) KDLA joined the Internet Archive's subscription service, Archive-It (www.archiveit.org ), in 2010. Archive-It allows institutions to build, manage, and search their own unique web archives. As part of the service, the Governor, Lt. Governor, and First Lady's sites were harvested on a quarterly basis. KDLA also decided to expand its Website Archives to include the other constitutional officers from the Executive Branch, as well as a general snapshot of the Legislative and Judicial Branches. KDLA also purchased an extraction of Kentucky-related government sites from the Internet Archives, giving the Website Archives web harvests going back to 2000.
Using the Archive-It web service, KDLA is better able to schedule regular harvests of websites and provide better tools to capture social media sites such as YouTube, Flickr, and, with a greater degree of difficulty, Facebook.
Return to the Website Archives page