Written by: Alexis Thomas

Welcome to the Fall 2022 semester! We hope you are having a great semester so far and are excited to welcome you back with a look into UNT’s Digital Libraries. Today, I will provide a brief introduction on what UNT’s Digital Library’s CyberCemetery has to offer.

Since we’re now in the spooky season, one may assume it refers to something quite scary. Luckily, it is not spooky at all, but it is a very useful tool to take a peek back in time. The CyberCemetery is a depository, for now, of defunct government agency websites that are managed by the UNT Libraries that can be accessed by current UNT students, faculty, and staff as well as non-UNT affiliate guests.

A foggy dark graveyard at night
I Am Become by Scott Rodgerson licensed under Unsplash.

In 2006, working in tandem with the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), UNT Libraries added our first site, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR). Today, we have over 120 defunct agency sites available to view. Each record comes with a description of the agency, the creation date, publication, and more. Not only do you get a description for the site, but if you click on the image associated with the agency, you will be directed to snapshots of the agency’s website. An exact date and time of the site’s decommissioning is indicated at the top of the page. This process bares resemblance to taking a screenshot on your phone, the difference is that any tabs, links, PDF reports, etc. are still available for you to interact with, almost as if the site is still up and running.

Now that we have a brief overview of the CyberCemetery, why do we need it? This is a digital archive, and just like any other archive, library, or other information institution. These organizations may no longer be around but that does not mean that the work they contributed should be counted as obsolete. CyberCemetery is a resource available for you to aid you in your research, whether you need to find data/stats, reports, or memos. Considering this is a collection strictly for former United States government agency sites, it may seem beneficial for students taking courses in political science and international relations. With sites for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, students from the sciences and social sciences can also learn a lot about the progression of these fields.

For those who want to use the CyberCemetery for their scholarly writing, here’s a quick tip. Like many of our library databases, we have a tool that will help you cite the webpage. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see “Citing This Site” or use the “Citing This Site” tab located on the left side of the page.

Have you visited the CyberCemtery yet? Let us know your thoughts on this collection! If you have any questions on how to use the CyberCemetery collection or would like to know more about what is available to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out via Ask Us.

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