Chesapeake Bay Project

Along with Michael Lines, I attended the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Very hot and humid, but I can attest to the restorative properties of Abita Brewing Company’s Amber.

One of the more interesting sessions at the conference was a presentation by the Chesapeake Bay Project. This is a collaborative effort between Georgetown University Law Library, the Maryland State Law Library, and the Virginia State Law Library. It is a two-year pilot project to stabilize, preserve, and ensure permanent access to critical born-digital legal material on the World Wide Web. According to the brochure handed out at the session, the project “is working to establish the beginnings of a strong regional digital archive collection of state and federal legal materials as well as a sound set of standards, policies, and best practices that could potentially serve to guide the future realization of a nationwide preservation program.”

The project uses the OCLC Digital Archive.

The project website has an example of a stored document from the FBI on use of national security letters, but the actual document itself is password protected.

The interesting part of all this was the extent to which the respective governments, who created these documents, didn’t seem to be worrying about their preservation. I was at first somewhat gobsmacked at this, but on reflection, I’m not sure how much of an issue this really is.

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