Conifer is both a tool to create high-fidelity, interactive captures of any web site you browse and a platform to make those captured websites accessible.
What are web archives?
A web archive is a record of web resources. It may include HTML and images, scripts, stylesheets, as well as video, audio and other elements that web pages and web apps are made of, all in one file.
Web archives can provide better context than isolated screenshots. They can capture not only content but the behaviors of users and their relationships to one another. They can also offer vivid windows into a moment in time. At the same time, web archives should be made with great care and consideration. Keep in mind that what you archive might become public, and what you publish might be used in ways you do not anticipate.
What makes Conifer different?
While most web archive projects automatically create copies of material found on the public web, Conifer is a user-driven platform. Users can create, curate, and share their own collections of web materials. This can even include items that would be only revealed after logging in or performing complicated actions on a web site.
On the technical side, Conifer focuses on “high fidelity” web archiving. Items relying on complex scripting, such as embedded videos, fancy navigation, or 3D graphics have a much higher success rate for capture with Conifer than with traditional web archives.
How do I use Conifer?
Is Conifer free to use?
Generally, yes! Conifer offers a limited free tier with 5GB of storage space with some networking quota restrictions. Access to collections that users made public is always free of charge and unlimited.
The software driving the service is open source under the Apache license.
There has to be some tiny print, right?
Who created Conifer?
Conifer is the result of a multi-year research and development project to create a next generation web archiving service that was hosted at Rhizome from 2015 to 2020 under the name “Webrecorder.io.” The open source components created during this time now form the foundation of Conifer. These components are maintained independently by the Webrecorder project. With the renaming from Webrecorder.io to Conifer, Rhizome became the permanent steward of the service.
Founded on the internet in 1996, Rhizome is a non-profit organization which commissions, presents, and preserves digital art. Since 2003, Rhizome has been an independent affiliate in residence at the New Museum in New York City, and is based at NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator. As it happens, to preserve net art you need to build complex things that can capture complex things.
How is Conifer funded?
Major support has been provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Additional support for Rhizome digital preservation is provided by the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, Google and the Google Cultural Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.