Celebrating 25 Years of Preserving the Web
Since 1996, the scale of the internet has grown exponentially
There is a great series of phototography books published by Arcadia Publishing, focused on how cities appeared more than a century ago. They’re not the only ones publishing in the genre. A book in my own collection is looks at my home town, Baltimore, and how its landscape has changed over time. It’s not so much that I’m interested in architecture, but more so in history.
One of the most amazing things I find with vintage photography is the sense of change and how things that seemed so familiar can be so foreign. Some vestiges of the city’s architecture remain, but it’s fascinating to see and think about how the landscape has changed over time. Without the photos or drawings though, we would be left to only imagine what it might have been like.
In the world of information and scholarship, libraries and archives play a similar role — not of simply of collecting and circulating content, but for preserving it for future generations and providing a window into how the world used to look and how the people in that world interacted and engaged with each other at that time. Long have these cultural institutions preserved our heritage and history. They have been adept stewards caring for things that we, in the present, might not recognize as valuable in the future.
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