Preserving the University of Sierra Nevada’s Online Legacy

The transition from the University of Sierra Nevada to the University of Nevada at Reno has many moving parts. Each institution has prepared physical and virtual spaces for this change. This latest job involves migrating the content of thousands of web pages that will be taken offline as part of this process. While many of these efforts look to the future, university library teams are also taking steps to ensure that the University of Sierra Nevada’s online legacy is preserved even after the transition.

The University of Sierra Nevada home page as it last appeared in June 2022 before the transition.

In recent months, libraries have taken steps to capture several websites related to the University of the Sierra Nevada: University of the Sierra Nevada at Lake Tahoe, Eagle’s Eye of the University of the Sierra Nevada, Interdisciplinary Arts MFA from the University of Sierra Nevada and Athletics from the University of Sierra Nevada. Using web archiving technology, these teams captured content from these sites in a way that gave alumni or other interested stakeholders a chance to experience the content as it existed in Spring 2022. .

SNU Tahoe Eagles homepage showing images of the lacrosse team and a snow boarder overlooking Lake Tahoe from a snowy vista
SNU Tahoe Eagles homepage showing images of the lacrosse team and a snowboarder looking over Lake Tahoe.

“Using web archiving techniques allows us to help preserve the dynamic nature of these sites,” said Nathan Gerth, Head of Digital Services. “Users will be able to browse and explore the sites as they existed. So in essence, we’re preserving an experience, not just a set of content. »

Libraries have made the archives available to users who wish to explore these sites after the transition. Visitors will be able to download any of the four sites and then view them using ReplayWeb.page, a site developed by the team behind Webrecorder, a suite of open source web archiving tools.

Homepage of The Eagle's Eye student journalism project.  It contains links to different themed sections and a large image of Lake Tahoe for a story about the area's role as a surfing destination.
Homepage of The Eagle’s Eye student journalism project. It offers links to different themed sections and a large image of Lake Tahoe for a story about the area’s role as a surfing destination.

Libraries have a mandate to preserve the history of the university, regardless of the format of these documents. In light of this, we started testing web archiving tools a few years ago. Our experiences with these web archiving tools allowed us to quickly capture the SNU website and gave us the opportunity to quickly deploy the site we are launching,” said Kim Anderson, director of Distinctive Collections. “University websites are essential sources of information about how a university operates and presents itself to the public and students. They provide a snapshot of the college experience over time, allowing users to explore curriculum, events, degrees, and administration. Thus, capturing these sites is very important in documenting the history of the UNS.

University students, faculty, and staff can access the University of Sierra Nevada web archive through the Libraries website. The portal to these sites also includes tips for uploading or troubleshooting issues with files accessed through the Web Archive Frequently Asked Questions site. Users interested in viewing other unique digital materials can browse through the libraries’ digital archives.

University libraries

University libraries encourage intellectual inquiry and innovation, foster the generation of new knowledge, and foster excellence in learning, teaching, and research. During each academic year, the libraries welcome more than 1.2 million visitors through its network of three libraries: the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library, and the Savitt Medical Library. Visitors viewed over 90,000 articles and performed over 2 million database searches.