Columbia University Libraries Announces Winners of Incentive Awards Portion of Mellon Web Archiving Grant
NEW YORK, April 24, 2014 –

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is pleased to announce the winners of the Web Archiving Incentive Awards, funded as part of Columbia’s 2013 Mellon Grant for Collaborations in Web Content Archiving.  The goal of the incentive awards program is to support the development of tools and techniques to improve web archiving and enhance the functionality of web archives.   The five award-winning proposals were selected from a pool of 11 applications by a multi-institutional panel convened by the Libraries. 

The award recipients and respective projects are:

Jimmy Lin, University of Maryland, "Warcbase: Building a Scalable Web Archiving Platform on HBase and Hadoop."

Zhiwu Xie and Edward A. Fox, Virginia Tech University, "Archiving Transactions Towards Uninterruptible Web Service"

Kim Dulin, The Harvard Library Innovation Lab, " Mitigating the Pervasive Problem of Link Rot in Scholarly Works and Preserving Online Content"

Michele Weigle, Old Dominion University, "Visualizing Digital Collections of Web Archives"

Michael Nelson, Old Dominion University, "Tools for Managing Seed URLs"

The oversight panel for the program was assembled during the first months of the grant in Spring 2013 and consists of Kris Carpenter, (formerly of Internet Archive); Mark Phillips, University of North Texas; Rob Sanderson, Stanford University (formerly of Los Alamos National Laboratory); and Perry Willett, California Digital Library.  Stephen Davis, Director of the Libraries Digital Program Division, Columbia University, leads the group with assistance from Alex Thurman, Web Resources Collection Coordinator, Columbia University; and Robert Wolven, Associate University Librarian for Bibliographic Services and Collection Development, Columbia University. 

The selected projects vary widely in scope and include work towards: applying modern, big data principles and technologies in order to scale up web archiving; effectively capturing local institutional web content while at the same time improving website availability; allowing authors and journals to directly initiate archiving of web pages when citing them in articles, thus preventing future link rot and ensuring the ongoing availability of cited content; developing automated ways of detecting changes in archived web pages over time and providing smart visual displays to help view the evolution of websites; developing a tool to help determine whether the topic of a web page being archived has gone significantly off-topic and thus needs to be reviewed to see if it has been converted to "web spam" or is otherwise no longer in scope for collecting.

Roughly $120,000 will be dispersed between the winners for this component, with work to be completed by the end of 2014. 

The three-year Mellon Foundation grant seeks to improve the effectiveness of web archiving methods and outcomes through collaborations with other libraries’ collecting programs, and with scholars, content producers, and technology innovators.  The project was developed in response to needs identified at “Web Archiving Policies and Practice in the US: 2012 Summit,” a conference convened by the Columbia University Libraries/Information Systems in 2012, during which leading experts from across the United States met to discuss the current state of web archiving and future challenges in collecting and preserving web content.

The grant draws on the expertise of the Libraries’ Web Resources Collection Coordinator, the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, the Libraries Digital Program Division), and the Copyright Advisory Office, as well as human rights scholars, to refine and extend models for collecting web resources in academic research libraries.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 13 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff and hosts over 4.7 million visitors each year.  The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources:

AM 4-24-14