What is the Archive.pt Memorial service? What is its relevance and use? In an interview, the manager of Arquivo.pt, Daniel Gomes, brings you the answer to this and other questions. 

#1 In what context was the Arquivo.pt Memorial service created? What are its main goals? 

There are historical websites that are no longer updated with new content, but need to be kept online because they provide important information, such as websites of completed projects. The Archive.pt Memorial service offers high-quality preservation of the content of these historic websites with the possibility of maintaining the original domain. 

#2 The service is a response to several types of problems that may arise from websites that stop being updated. What are these issues and how does Memorial do Arquivo.pt solve them? 

Some organizations find themselves having to invest significant resources to maintain a large number of historical websites created over time. The cost of maintaining these websites increases over time due to the obsolescence of the technologies that support them, which very often causes dangerous security vulnerabilities.

Through the Archive.pt Memorial, historical website owners are able to preserve the online information they have published, but do not need to permanently invest in infrastructure (e.g. servers, electricity, content management system), nor allocate ICT human resources to maintain their historical websites. They just need to keep the domain ownership of the website.

#3 What kind of entities can use the Archive.pt Memorial service? What are some examples of organizations that it can be useful to? 

In this initial phase of the service, all Public Administration entities may request the service free of charge. The Arquivo.pt Memorial may be provided to other entities by establishing a collaboration protocol.

For example, the website www.umic.pt belonged to a government organization called UMIC - Knowledge Society Agency, which ceased activities in 2012. Arquivo.pt has preserved the information published online by this website that was later deactivated. Note that if web users search in a search engine for "UMIC - Knowledge Society Agency" they still receive results from the website www.umic.pt, although its content is now being served by the Archive.pt Memorial.

#4 What is your assessment of the course taken by this service? Are there any statistics that show its impact?

The service has matured gradually and thoughtfully because it is an innovative service that is unique in the world. At the moment there are 62 websites preserved in the Memorial, whose information would otherwise have been irretrievably lost. For example, the academic portal Degois.pt, which was replaced by the new CienciaVitae, has already received 12,400 users since it was preserved at the Memorial as of May 2021.

#5 Arquivo.pt has recently added new solutions to its service catalog. What can you tell us about these tools? 

For their usefulness, I highlight file404(https://arquivo.pt/arquivo404) and Save Page Now(https://arquivo.pt/savepagenow)

Arquivo404 offers a solution to the problem of pages that no longer exist on websites (404 Error - Page Not Found). Just insert a single line of code in the page that generates the 404 error message, and if the page exists in Arquivo.pt a link is presented so that the user can visit this version.

SavePageNow allows for the archiving of a page in high quality, including for example videos, at the exact moment the user makes the request. The archived contents will later be integrated in the Arquivo.pt collection.

What is the relevance of Arquivo.pt for Portuguese citizens? 

Artificial Intelligence is based on algorithms, computers and data. Access to efficient algorithms and powerful computers is getting easier and easier. On the other hand, it is increasingly difficult to access data, for example, to conduct scientific research or even to remember any event from our recent past. 

Arquivo.pt is a public service that is unique in the world and provides access to historical data that can be useful to all Portuguese citizens. I urge you to help us spread the word about Arquivo.pt, so that more people get to know it and take advantage of this valuable national heritage. Moreover, every year you can compete for the Arquivo.pt Award. 

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