Last week (27th June) Lizzie Richmond (our University Archivist, Records Manager, and FOI Co-ordinator) and I delivered a Case Study at the JISC - Preservation of Web Resources workshop.
We were asked by our colleagues at UKOLN (who organised the event) to deliver a brief talk detailing our approach to preserving web resources at the University. Our initial reaction was that we had little to say. Lizzie's remit lies with the paper records and I am responsible for managing our website - ensuring it meets the needs of our users. Neither of us felt web preservation was something we had expertise in nor the time (and for me the inclination) to fully explore this.
Web preservation was something we could see as being useful (in the future) but I think we both felt it wasn't a priority.
That said we agreed to present a case study and spent some time discussing what little we did and what potentially we could do.
The outcome was very interesting.
Simply discussing preservation (from both sides of the fence) taught us a lot. We discovered the risks involved in simply side-lining it; the potential gap in University history and the benefits of embedding preservation into our digital strategy. We felt it was something worth doing but like many of the other attendees at the workshop we had more questions than answers; what to store, how to store, the list goes on...
So is it something we should make time for? Yes I believe it is.
Fortunately the PoWR project looks to explore these issues further and deliver some advice and guidance to the HE community. Web preservation is never going to be top of a Web Managers agenda (in my opinion) but it should BE on the agenda... and for me that's progress!