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Saving local political websites from the dustbins of history

Websites for local candidates disappear after elections.

Each year, thousands of people run for local political offices across the United States. Many of them create websites and social media sites to reach potential voters. But after each election cycle, thousands of these websites disappear from the web.

We’re going to save them.

If these sites aren’t archived, we lose important digital artifacts from an election cycle — ones that are useful for future journalists, researchers and historians. With tools like the Wayback Machine and groups like the Archive Team, we can ensure that these sites are scooped up before they’re lost forever.

The Library of Congress archives sites associated with presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections, but local candidate websites -- particularly for suburban and rural locations -- are not currently captured systematically.

This is a project for LIS 668-01 (Community Informatics) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Thank you to the School of Education at UNCG for providing a grant to cover the costs of this website.