A political history of web archives: The International Internet Preservation Consortium

The article focuses on the new international organisations in the field of digital preservation, fostering co-operation between national libraries. It begins with a case study of the IIPC, founded in 2003, describing the methods used to create an archive of material from the world-wide web by bringing together initiatives launched at the national level. The author draws on the sociology of organisations to study the history of the IIPC, which reveals a typical dynamic of innovation, in which an initially purely technological need gradually takes on a political dimension before becoming (or returning to) an issue for library science. The article also demonstrates how the development of software, communication strategies, and the invention of new document management practices have made a success of this innovation, while creating potential for conflict between software engineers, librarians, and policy-makers.