3. NYARC Collection Scope and Seed URL Nomination Process

A). NYARC Collection Development Policy for Websites:


The New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) is an active member of an international community whose shared goal is collecting, preserving, and providing access to websites with scholarly value. Providing public access to websites that reflect the collecting strengths of the three institutions is an important component of NYARC’s mission to facilitate collaboration that results in enhanced resources to research communities.

Given the rapid pace of change in the content, features, and functions of websites, this collection development policy will be reviewed on a regular basis and revised accordingly.


Websites that conform to collections defined on the NYARC Archive-It Partners Page.


Websites will be selected by designated staff at each NYARC library using an online form.

Other staff and registered library patrons of NYARC institutions, as well as the public, are invited and encouraged to recommend websites in the fields of their particular expertise for inclusion in the NYARC collections. Recommendations may be submitted using a publicly available online form, or by email to webarchive@frick.org, and will be reviewed for final approval by designated selectors.


In addition to the criteria in the NYARCArchive-It collections, the following evaluative criteria may be helpful in selecting websites.

The content of the website should accurately reflect the stated subject of the resource, with minimal advertising or other distractions from the primary information. Indicators of quality can include peer or librarian reviews of site, the presence of an authoritative author or publisher, professional design, evidence of continuing support of the resource, and clearly stated contact information for the author or publisher. The information should be reliably comprehensive and provided in a reasoned manner that is open to verification and validation. It is acknowledged that the quality and utility of a website may vary over time, and that a rejection or selection may need to be reversed over time.

Functionality is an important factor in evaluating a website. URLs within the site should link properly, additional software beyond a standard web browser should not be needed to view the resource, and ideally there should be no requirement for registration or fees to gain access to the site.

Websites at risk of disappearance should be prioritized for nomination by selectors.


All materials within the scope of this policy are intended to be openly accessible to the public. Websites will be cataloged in Arcade, and will also be discoverable via Archive-It, Primo, WorldCat, and other sources. Records for all NYARC materials, including those for websites, will be widely distributed to portals and aggregators to maximize discovery. Access to embedded publications such as serials, exhibition catalogs, catalogues raisonnés, and databases will be facilitated based on selectors’ instructions in the nomination form.


The NYARC Libraries adhere to all applicable copyright laws of the United States.

Websites are captured in accord with U.S copyright law and its exceptions:

Section 107: Fair Use

Section 108: Reproduction by Libraries and Archives

NYARC strives to respect the rights of content owners and to follow professional best practices for intellectual property rights management in website preservation.

Recent guidelines and recommendations from copyright experts have established fair use practices that include collecting websites and making them broadly accessible. Some guidelines that inform our practice include:

The Section 108 Study Group Report of March 2008. This group of copyright experts asserts that archives and libraries have the right to capture “publicly available” content (i.e. materials that do not require a password, entry forms, or subscriptions).

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and ResearchLibraries, published by the Association of Research Libraries in January 2012, which states in principle that “It is fair use to create topically based collections of websites and other material from the Internet and to make them available for scholarly use.”

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, published by the College Art Association in February 2015, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and endorsed by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).

In order to address the rights of content owners, NYARC libraries have taken the following steps:

The web crawler will respect all exclusions in robots.txt files and will not capture content designated as off-limits by a webmaster, unless permission to archive has been granted.

To avoid confusion with live websites, all archived materials will be prominently labeled as archived versions.

When NYARC preserves the websites of private individuals, organizations, or associations, every effort will be made to inform the content owners of our activity and to inform them of their right to opt out or suppress content.


In the interest of ensuring that web-based materials are relevant to the support of the research interests served by the NYARC libraries, the collection of these materials shall be regularly reviewed for accessibility and on-going appropriateness. The primary purpose of periodic review efforts is to ensure that URLs link to the expected resource. Secondary purposes of periodic review efforts include evaluation of resources for suitability and continued relevance to researchers on staff and in the wider community served by NYARC libraries.

Because of the research status of the NYARC libraries, withdrawal of born-digital materials shall be performed on a very limited basis. Any weeding from the collection will be the responsibility of the NYARC Directors.


In support of the NYARC libraries’ strategic plan to expand access to its shared collections through collaboration, partnerships to collect, describe, and make discoverable born-digital resources and their historical iterations as web archives will be actively pursued.

Considering the cumulative and ever-growing volume of information that exists on the Web, the websites collected by NYARC represent but a small fraction of those that would be relevant to our collections overall. We should therefore strive to identify existing web archives that overlap with areas where we intend to collect, and cooperate with others to minimize duplication of effort and resources. If overlap with other web archives is discovered, we should additionally consider the depth, frequency, and capture success of those archives to determine whether it is still worthwhile for NYARC to archive it.

In support of the NYARC libraries’ strategic plan to advance the research value of its born-digital collections, NYARC Directors may designate additional subject areas for intensive collection development. Creation of collections in specific subject areas may involve the establishment of creative partnerships with content providers and collaborative arrangements in which NYARC acts as a hosting, discovery, and/or preservation partner for content that is collected.




This policy was updated on July 24, 2015.

B). Active Archive-It Collections:

  • Art Resources

  • Artists' Websites

  • Auction Houses

  • Brooklyn Museum

  • Catalogues Raisonnés

  • Museum of Modern Art

  • New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC)

  • New York City Galleries

  • Restitution of Lost and Looted Art

  • The Frick Collection

C). Seed URL Nomination:

Nominations come from staff at each of the NYARC libraries, as well as from site owners and researchers. Web resources presently eligible for inclusion must align with the analog collection scope of one of the NYARC libraries and fit within one of the above-mentioned 10 active Archive-It collections.