Disappearing online resources

The web is always evolving, and it's no surprise that website content can undergo changes over time. This site gets additions or slight modifications for corrections, but rarely would content be removed or altered in any major way.

There will be occasions that entire blocks of information - or even entire websites - can disappear for any number of reasons. The basic nature of this site is based on the creative works of one individual and his staff and studio; as opposed to museum or gallery sites that may present the works of a large number of creators, and often rotate what collections are available for public viewing at their physical location. Some of them still maintain some digital offerings online to represent at least some small part of their now-stored collections, but even those that do it won't guarantee that everything they have will remain visible online forever.

As with this site, many resources available online are not funded by some corporate structure. Some are hobby sites and those behind them change their focus or interest, and some may be hosted with providers who either close their virtual doors, or switch to a business model that makes staying where you are too impractical, or cost prohibitive if they raise rates or eliminate a "free" tier that can't be easily replaced.

T-Enami.org goes missing

Somewhere near the time the Covid19 Pandemic started to emerge, one site I'd refer to for checking facts for myself, or directing others to visit for authoritative information and photos became unavailable. It became clear over a short time frame, that T-Enami.org wasn't just experiencing technical difficulties or had some temporary hiccup with presenting pages... it simply vanished and spit out an on-screen error with every new visit.

Due in large part to the same technology that provides us with with the ability to share all that the web offers, Archive.org had been dutifully saving snapshots of the now-dark site, along with so many others that have slid away from view. There is at least some good news, in that almost everything that it once presented can still be seen by visiting "the Wayback Machine" and searching for the clones they keep in a massive timeline of changes for the last few decades. Opening your favorite browser and typing in the site address will pull up a calendar of versions, and one of those will provide you with this one, for the last version of the site seen on January 20th of 2020: https://web.archive.org/web/20200120114557/http://www.t-enami.org/

Having exchanged a couple of emails over the years with the Rob Oechsle, the site's owner/author/researcher, I thought I would reach out and inquire about the site and how he was doing. After several tries on a couple of avenues of contact have gone unanswered, so all I can assume for now is that the site won't be returning. The domain itself has passed hands to a new owner, and the only place to read through Rob's years of research online that I'm aware of, will be visiting the pages presented by the Wayback archives.

Still more missing sites and gallery collections

National Geographic, Harvard, and several collection holders no longer host their vintage Meiji and Taishō era galleries online, and several other sites dealing with early Japanese and other Asian photography have also gone missing or have changed significantly, without any announcement or warning.

As Rob went about constructing his site, he was scanning the photos in his personal collection, and graciously posting those efforts as downloadable images from his site. He'd only ask that anyone wishing to use them could do so freely, as long as no one claimed them as their own, and would provide the details about where they came from. It's my intention to do the same with whatever output I'll produce, and may also rehost some of Rob's previous work - especially those that are no longer available from the Wayback rendered pages. Hopefully there will be more postings from other sources to offset a fraction of the ones that have been moved to offline viewing, or where they've been 'rotated out' of public viewings, either online or offline.

With a little luck and determination, I'm trying to buck the trend and maintain at least a small presence until the project is complete. At that point I may decide to overhaul this site to reframe how it's content is presented.

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