Main Nav

Podcast: Memento - Protocol-Based Time Travel for the Web

Frustrated attempts to retrieve old versions of Web pages abound. Web site visitors frequently bookmark pages only to find later, upon revisiting the site, that the current content is not even remotely related to what caught their initial interest. Remnants of the past Web are available, and there are many efforts ongoing to archive even more Web content, but the past Web is not as readily accessible as today's. For example, someone wanting to see an archived version of can go to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine and search for it there. Or old versions of a Wikipedia page are available by going to the current page and from there following a link to one of the prior versions.

But accessing archived Web content feels more like walking to a library than using the Web in the usual way. It would be much easier to simply connect to a Web site indicating an interest in the pages of March 20, 2008, for example, instead of the current pages, by activating a time machine in your own browser or bot. The Memento solution has been designed to achieve this solution. It is based on existing HTTP capabilities applied in a novel way to add the temporal dimension. The result is a framework in which archived resources can seamlessly be reached via the uniform resource identifier (URI) of their original: protocol-based time travel for the Web.

Joining us for this podcast are Memento's creators:

  • Herbert Van de Sompel, Digital Library Researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Robert Sanderson, Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Michael Nelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Old Dominion University


This interview is provided courtesy of CNI and was recorded at their 2009 Fall Task Force Meeting.  The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is an organization dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity.  You can learn more about CNI at their web site,


You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Running time: 10m 49s
File size: 7.43 MB

Tags from the EDUCAUSE Library


Connect: San Antonio
April 22–24
Register Now

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.


Digital Badges
Member recognition effort
Earn yours >

Career Center

Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management



Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.


EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas



Join These Programs If Your Focus Is


Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.



2015 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations

Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.