Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Building an Iran Web Archive in the National Library and Archives of Iran: A Feasibility Study
Date of this Version
Internet and Web have provided content producers with different form of media; and a big deal of intellectual products of different countries are only found on the internet. Loss and change are among the obvious features of the Web ; and there is no guarantee that the information now existing on the Web will remain stable and usable in the distant future. Content change has different reasons ranging from the inclination of the creators towards the change and edition of parts of content to accidental changes during transfer, for instance, change into different formats. Even domain names and addresses fall prey to change and omission. As Berners-Lee put it: "There are no reasons at all in theory for people to change URIs (or stop maintaining documents), but millions of reasons in practice"(Berners-Lee,1998).
Institutes like national libraries and archives that, according to their own responsibilities, are obliged to collect publications and intellectual productions of any country deal with more complicated aspects and different scales of the issue. And the definition of the term "digital preservation" seems to suffice for its purpose. Identifying and harvesting the intellectual content of a nation from the interwoven world of the Web and the internet, organizing and making accessible this intellectual property, all, belong to the conceptual scope of digital preservation, which, according to a brief definition, "combines policies, strategies and actions to ensure the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time, regardless of the challenges of media failure and technological change" (Definition of Digital Preservation, 2010). These aspects assume special importance considering the mission vested in national libraries to provide a reference model in professional information work and specialized activities of librarianship.
In compliance with the articles of association of the National Library and Archives of IR of Iran (hereinafter referred to as NLAI), establishment, making accessible, organization and preservation of the intellectual and cultural works and contents at national level, constitute the main responsibility of this organization .
With regard to production and publication of a large part of this content on the Web and awareness of the fact that Web resources are always changing, evolving and getting lost, development of an organized archive of Iranian Web resources is considered part of NLAI responsibilities. Such archive put the gathered Web resources at present and future researchers' disposal; and hence it can be considered a rich data center for the country . Since any scientific project should be aware of scientific investigations and as there exist special internet and Web issues in Iran, present paper is the report of a feasibility study, which has dealt with the possibility of development of Iran Web archive in NLAI as well as its possible problems, necessities and requirements so that expert advices and information become the basis for the future decision makings.
In Iran, various individuals, groups and institutes get involved in the internet-related policies. A plethora of technological, specialized, legal and statutory facts in Iran and the world influence the internet and Web , which should be logically investigated in this study. This study first analyzes the existing status and facilities including the internet in Iran, characteristics of the Iranian Web , legal aspects, the status of the "Iranian Legal Deposit Law", hardware and Telecom infrastructure, the software packages used in the NLAI, metadata and their application in the present NLAI system. Then, the comment section mentions executive and managerial techniques, proposed approaches for resource collecting, national and international cooperation, information management, legal aspects, information management standards, the specifications of the software and equipments required and some points on the budget and personnel.