Preserving History Before a New President Takes Office
With the start of a new administration a vast array of information on government websites is at risk of disappearing, and quickly. It's surprising how fragile the information is. So, what's being done about it as we approach the start of a Donald Trump presidency?
The National Archives and Records Administration doesn't want the job. So, here comes the End of Term Presidential Harvest, 2016 (EOT). In a December 1 story the New York Times reported on this effort and the team of volunteers behind it. Government document and subject experts have been joined by librarians, academics, political and social science researchers, educators and their students, and other volunteer nominators in semester-long efforts and all-day “nominatathons” to identify URLs that are submitted for inclusion in the EOT Archive.
Mark Phillips, a library dean at the University of North Texas, is quoted as saying that this year the effort is more important than ever, because certain pages may contain scientific data on climate change for which president-elect Trump and some of his allies have expressed hostility or contempt. "It's really easy for that stuff to go away," Phillips said.
There's a simple tool for nominating a page. Pages should only be on federal websites.
The photo shows End of Term harvest at New York Academy of Medicine. (Photo credit by Debbie Rabina).