Arquivo.pt's Memorial sub-service has been supporting the preservation of old websites, leading several institutions to reduce costs and avoid security vulnerabilities. Researcher Helena Barranha tells us all about the example of "Unplace" - the digital museum "that has no place".
What to do when maintaining an old website is a problem? The Memorial sub-service of Arquivo.pt, managed by the FCCN Unit, seeks to respond to this need by preserving old websites and thus offering important support to various types of institutions, organizations and projects.
"There are countless websites that stop being updated, both in terms of content and software," explains the Area Director of the FCCN Unit, João Gomes, during a video presentation of this sub-service of Arquivo.pt. This lack of updating, he adds, brings with it "problems in terms of fixed costs, CO2 emissions and, above all, security vulnerabilities", although it is important "that the content continues to be accessible".
This is the problem that Memorial do Arquivo.pt is trying to answer, by making a high-quality collection of the latest version of the website that continues to be available on the original domain. The difference, however, is that it is now possible to turn off the machines that support it, reducing the ecological footprint, maintenance costs and security threats.
The unplace research project is one example of an initiative that has made use of the memorial's services. The person responsible for this project, Helena Barranha, explains that the work had as its "central theme museums and virtual exhibitions of contemporary art". "It seemed to us that it would be important to guarantee the digital preservation not only of the project's website, but also of the associated content, such as open access publications," adds the researcher, revealing that the team got in touch with Arquivo.pt.
According to Helena Barranha, the institution's need was solved by this service. "The collaboration of Arquivo.pt has been excellent," she says, highlighting the main advantage of the Arquivo.pt Memorial being that it "allows access to the research work carried out as part of the project between 2014 and 2015". "This content may be of interest not only to other researchers studying related topics, but also to students, curators and artists, or even to a non-specialized public who are curious about digital art and online museums," she adds.
You can find out more about the Arquivo.pt Memorial on the project's website.