Wednesday, January 09, 2008

NLB archives Singapore blogs

As reported in The Straits Times, "Local blogs being added to S'pore's historical archives" (7 Jan '08) by Keith Lin:

The National Library Board (NLB) is adding blogs to Singapore's historical archives as part of its efforts to retain a comprehensive record of online content.

In all, the library aims to archive some 100 blogs by the end of the year.

Eleven have been selected so far, ranging from offerings such as Air-Conditioned Nation (cherian.blogspot.com) by media academic Cherian George, to the satirical Mr Brown (www.mr brown.com).

Mr Raju Buddharaju, the library's director of digital resources and services, described blogs as an 'invaluable' source of news and social commentary for the present and future generations of Singaporeans.

'Content from blogs often offers views which would otherwise not be accessible from mainstream media,' he said.

Even so, the library is selective when it comes to deciding which blogs to archive.

Only those produced by individuals who are recognised experts in their respective fields of knowledge, famous personalities or award-winning blogs will be considered, Mr Raju said.

The library will take digital snapshots of the selected blogs at least once a year and post their contents on its web archive - available at www.nlb.gov.sg. Access is open and free to the public.

...

Said Dr George, who has three blogs looking at various aspects of Singapore media and politics in the archives: 'This is not about the authorities giving legitimacy to individual blogs.

'It is part of a welcome movement in Singapore to recognise the value of multiple perspectives in telling the Singapore story.'

Link to the free ST article, here.

NLB web archive - Advanced search page

Back in Oct '06, when the Web Archive Singapore project was announced, it drew the attention of well-known Singaporean blogger mrbrown, who created a special podcast episode on the topic.

So it's official mrbrown!

And you probably can sleep a little easier, knowing that snapshots of your blog will be available for posterity. : )

Incidentally I spotted Jean's post, where she wrote:
At first read, it seems like elitism at its best again. Then again, we shouldn’t be so petty about it, right?

She was responding to the web selection guideline of "choosing individuals who are recognised as experts in their fields, famous personalities or are award winning".

Just like for physical libraries, it's impossible to acquire everything there is. Inevitably there will be some criteria imposed on the What, When and Who to archive.

But just like the case of physical libraries, if you have something (i.e. a blog) that you highly recommend, make a suggestion! I'm sure NLB would give it due consideration.

BTW I don't speak for NLB. Some people have emailed me to enquire about the project. I'm more than happy to redirect your emails, though it's faster to enquire at NLB direct.

You can also read the FAQs about the Web Archive Singapore.
[related post: How to access the NLB Web Archive Singapore (WAS)]