Archivists on the web: The 2020 Archive-It Virtual Parter Meeting

October 14th, 2020

by the Archive-It team

Partners in the Archive-It platform of software and services met virtually from around the globe on October 7, 2020, to review the state and chart the future of their web archiving community of practice. A consensus commitment to developing upon the well known and loved strengths of the web emerged from a broad spectrum of prepared talk and live discussion topics. If you missed them live, you can catch up videos, slides, and notes from the day’s events here in the Archive-It Help Center

Screenshot of Archive-It's web-based meeting space

The welcoming committee from the Internet Archive opening the virtual Archive-It Partner Meeting on October 7, 2020.

The typically in-person meeting convened online this year for public health reasons, but this had the added and welcome benefit of opening the events to many more peers who could not attend an annual meeting for myriad reasons. In the end, 140 attendees in total heard from 24 speakers across three concurrent tracks, then circulated among sixteen different eight-person “tables” where they could all participate in more intimate conversations about their web archiving priorities and needs. We used the web conferencing platform Remo to support this expansive scope of activities and attendees. It performed especially well at emulating the on-site experiences we all miss the most:

Tweet by Ian Milligan: 'Heh, at a virtual conference, and am doing what I might do at a real one - hiding in the corner so I can check my e-mail and get a coffee.'

This setting complimented the wide diversity of content that partners contributed to the event, lifting up those aspects of the web that we both want to preserve and promote: open access, automation and integration, big data, and the ever-important questions raised by social media. Partners’ talks and strategy discussions cut well across the diverse points of view in web archiving in 2020, on collecting topics, technologies, representation and use, and so much more. The recordings, presenter materials, and notes above will appeal to web archivists and our peers in digital preservation from many different perspectives.  

We on the Archive-It team want to build upon this opportunity too, and to continue meeting web archiving and digital preservation partners where they work. If you attended this year’s virtual partner meeting and haven’t yet contributed your feedback, please take the quick survey so we can make future online gatherings even more successful!