Once websites are no longer online and out of the reach of web archives, their preservation needs to be approached from a different angle. Ongoing access to our digital treasure chests requires immediate consideration and action. Twenty-five years ago, De Digitale Stad – a unique structure comprising computers, modems and phone cables – opened its virtual doors. This ‘Digital City’ is the oldest Dutch online community and plays a key role in the internet history of both Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Based on a case study entitled ‘De Digitale Stad Herleeft’ (The Digital City Revived), we provide answers to the following questions: (1) how do you excavate an object like the Digital City and transform it from a virtual Atlantis into a virtual Pompei, and (2) how do you reconstruct, preserve, unlock and present digital heritage material for future generations in a sustainable way.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

de Haan, Tjarda, & Verbruggen, Erwin. (2019). Webarcheologie, schatgraven in en bewaren van het recente (born-)digital verleden: een praktische handleiding. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 22(1), 66–84. doi:10.18146/tmg.437