The UNC Libraries started a web archiving project in January 2013 (read more about that here), but the Internet Archive has been saving websites for much, much longer. In fact, they have saved over 366 BILLION web pages since 1996, accessible through the Wayback Machine.
In the Wayback Machine you can see an archive of UNC.edu since 1997, not to mention tons of other websites. Take a moment to search for some of your favorite websites and see what they looked like 10 (or more!) years ago. Not surprisingly, the Web has changed quite a bit since then.
Recently UNC Libraries launched a new, redesigned website. As any archivist should, we took this opportunity to look at some of the older, somewhat outdated content of the previous website and flag materials for archiving.
Amongst other items, we decided to save a bunch of photographs, some of which were taken by a library employee during the renovation of the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library (the UL).
Here you can see the evolution of a favorite UL study spot, the new books reading room.
Before you purge your computers’ files, throw away old paper documents, or redesign your own or your organization’s blog or website, take some extra time to look through everything and think about what materials might be historically valuable. Chances are you’ll find something you didn’t know you had, something you want to remember, something worth saving.
And if you find something that you think should come to the Archives please let us know!
Special thanks to Kim Vassiliadis, head of User Experience, who alerted us to these cool photographs before they were deleted from our web servers.
Construction photos taken by Fred Stipe, head of the Library’s Digital Production Center during the UL renovations (1999-2001).