I’m very glad to say that Alan Hewer’s excellent Great War Dust Jackets site is once more up and running. A week or so back I was horrified to find that it had disappeared from the Internet.
It turned out that Lycos, Alan’s Internet Service Provider, had become a victim of the recession and had closed down. Worse than that, they had wiped the servers. Luckily, Alan had a complete back-up. After the usual amount of travail that accompanies any IT project, he is now up and running again, and can be found at the same address as before.
Something similar happened to another of my favourite sites for the history of popular culture, the Sexton Blake archive, a while ago. Once again, files had been backed up and normal service was resumed after a while.
All this shows how vulnerable digital archives are to the whims of fortune. The British Library is undertaking a large project to archive websites, but I don’t know how complete this will be. (Could it ever be truly complete?) Meanwhile, I’m very aware that most of the stuff I fling onto my blog pages has no existence except on the WordPress computers. So it could all disappear any day…