One of my former students from SJSU had an interesting question for me about archiving student and faculty blogs:
I am in the midst of reading Varsity Letters : Documenting Modern Colleges and Universities and I realized that a major hole in our archives is the documentation of the teaching and learning that is taking place. People don’t really write things down on paper anymore (as you know) so things like student notes, journals, etc. are more difficult to collect.
So I was thinking. I know a lot of our students and faculty are probably keeping blogs and I started thinking about using those as a record of student life, learning and faculty teaching… not all of them of course, but a representative sample.
Do you know of anyone who is collecting information for archives using say, delicious or a wiki?
I’m trying to wrap my mind about all the different possibilities for how to archive this information, which would be an awesome resource for future researchers and our institution.
This is something that I’ve thought about, but I don’t actually know about any academic initiatives to collect blogs, archive blogs, or preserve blogs. In the long term, it’s going to take a lot more than linking to them on a wiki or bookmarking them in del.icio.us. When I think about libraries archiving student and faculty blogs for future generations, I think about copyright, access, and preservation issues and my head spins. I’m not an archivist, but even I can imagine what a big deal it would be to archive these materials in the long term. Still, I know that blogs are going to be important artifacts for the future. These will be vital windows into our culture long after we’re gone… if we find ways to collect and preserve them.
So, I’m curious… is anyone else thinking about this? Is anyone doing anything about this?