October 6, 2004
TO: Heads of Federal agencies
SUBJECT: Harvest of Agency Public Web Sites
EXPIRATION DATE: September 30, 2005
1. What is the purpose of this bulletin? This bulletin announces that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will be conducting a harvest (i.e., capture) of Federal agency public web sites as they exist on or before January 20, 2005, to document Federal agency presence on the World Wide Web during the Presidential Administration term ending in January, 2005. In January, NARA will provide online public access to all captured web sites received as part of this initiative. The bulletin also requests agencies to take certain steps to ensure the successful completion of the harvest.
- NARA has determined that a periodic "snapshot" of Federal agency use of the Web provides important documentation of the Federal Government's activities in this area. This web harvest initiative also complies with the Interagency Committee on Government Information's (ICGI) final report submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in June 2004, recommending a requirement for the capture and transfer of Federal public web sites at the end of an Administration.1
- To reduce the burden on agencies, NARA is conducting a harvest for this snapshot, instead of following the methodology used to obtain the snapshot of Federal web sites taken at the end of the Clinton Administration. We expect to refine our methodology further in future snapshots.
- While this harvest will allow NARA to preserve these web sites as they exist at the close of 2004, it does not relieve agencies of the need to schedule their web content records.
3. What agency web sites will be captured by NARA's harvest? NARA will capture agency public web sites that are listed in Attachment 1: Active Agency Domains. The capture will exclude agency intranets, classified or restricted access web sites, and any web sites not included in this attachment.
4. What must I do to ensure my agency web sites are included in this snapshot?
- Review Attachment 1:
Active Agency Domains to determine whether your agency web site is included on the list. We recommend that your agency webmasters and web content managers be involved in this review. If your web site is listed, no further action is required on your part. On or before November 15, NARA will capture your public web site and preserve it as an archival record. If your web site address is incorrectly cited on Attachment 1, please send the correct address to John Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org upon receipt of this Bulletin, but no later than October 25, 2004, so that we can make sure that your web site is harvested.
- Agency public web sites not included on the list may be included in the snapshot if the agency conducts a harvest in accordance with the instructions in this paragraph and the Transfer Instructions for Permanent Electronic Records: Web Content Records (available on the NARA web site at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/web-content-records.html). If you choose to harvest your web site, it must be captured before January 20, 2005, and transferred to NARA in accordance with the requirements of the Transfer Instructions for Permanent Electronic Records: Web Content Records no later than January 31, 2005. The requirement to submit a Standard Form (SF) 258 is waived for the transfer of harvested web sites. This is an exception for this initiative only. For information on harvester applications and links to their web sites, please refer to Attachment 2: Resource List.
5. Who do I contact for additional information?
- If you have technical questions about how to capture your web site in accordance with the Transfer Instructions for Permanent Electronic Records: Web Content Records, please contact the Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division at (301) 837-3420.
- If you have general records management questions, or require assistance in scheduling web content records, your agency's records officer should address questions to the NARA appraiser or NARA records analyst with whom your agency normally works. A list of the appraisal and scheduling work groups.
JOHN W. CARLIN
Archivist of the United States
1 See Requirement 6(i). Final Report to OMB: Recommended Policies and Guidelines for Federal Public Web sites. Interagency Committee on Government Information. June 9, 2004.