independent projects
digitalcraft's archive webpages

After having pushed forward the construction of a link collection based web design collection already since winter 2000/01, digitalcraft now starts the second phase of the archiving plan: selected websites are now stored on dc´s servers and thus transferred to an enduring conservation.

With this dc at the Museum of Applied Arts Frankfurt, as one of the first museum projects worldwide, takes up the challenge of a methodical archiving of contemporary digital artefacts. Particularly in the web design field the artefacts are very much subject to transitoriness: websites are permanently updated, renewed, completed, redesigned or even taken from the web. Established or even institutionalised strategies to document the resuslting processes of change and development do not exist yet. Therefore dc understands the now chosen way of operating as an experimental project in the area of long-term data storage. The goal of this project is to show historically subordinated developments of technological as well as conceptual nature within the web design field. The construction of a server-based and fixed web design collection is moreover to be seen as a strategical impulse, as well as a first concrete contribution to a historiography still to be started in this young metier.

In cooperation with the respective website operators dc now starts applicating server-based storage solutions. For this the project has developed so-called description formats, parameters that guarantee a long-term orientated methodical recording as well as an exclusive documentatiuon of digital objects. The description formats have been derived from international museum standards and were then specifically extended for the needs of digital objects.

The selection of the collected web design objects is strictly made according to qualitative criteria. A specialised team of experts decides according to the selection criteria navigation, graphics, animation and interactivity, if the objects in question are to be admitted to the collection. Creative aspects stand in the center of this selective collection strategy. Therefore dc´s way of proceeding differs a lot from existing other collection endeavours that archivate exclusively on a quantitative basis.

In contrast to the recent link collection orientated proceeding, the server-based one will be lacking of the website-genres “downloads” and “competitions” (the contributions in those folders were taken into into the collection only due to their content), as well as “online magazines” (usually organised on the basis of a database and therefore not suitable for a server-based storage). The server-based website archive will therefore be subdivided into the genres “agencies”, “film”, “free projects”, “institutions”, “children”, “brands”, “music” and “advertising”. On information sites to the collected objects, we will continue to indicate the original URL of the website that has been included in the server-based collection, to document if and to which extent the page has changed in the course of time.