MT.GOV Connect FAQ

What is MT.GOV Connect?

MT.GOV Connect is an archive of Montana state agency websites dating from 1996.  

Why MT.GOV Connect? 

The Montana State Library uses MT.GOV Connect per M.C.A. 22-1-212 to identify, acquire, catalog, preserve, and provide access to state publications.  State agency websites are regarded as state publications per M.C.A. 22-1-211 (3) (a).  It is assumed that state agencies posting information to the World Wide Web intend for that information to be publicly distributed and understand that it may be downloaded, printed out, and cached by machines and users anywhere. The Montana State Library manages this web archive in partial fulfillment of its statutory mandate to coordinate with state agencies and depository libraries to ensure permanent permanent public access to state publications which in most cases today means the content appearing on state agency websites.  The web archive collection is a companion to the text archive collection of digitized state publications.

How and when does MT.GOV Connect capture and preserve state agency web sites?

Montana State Library staff has developed a list of “seeds” or URLs that serve as starting points for scheduled automated crawls of state agency websites. Library staff uses Archive-It, a web archiving service of the Internet Archive based in San Francisco, California to capture state agency websites.  Heretrix is the open source web crawler.  NutchWAX is the open source indexing software that enables search and Wayback is the user search interface.  Library staff schedule weekly, bimonthly, monthly, quarterly, and annual crawls of state agency websites according to the understood rate of content change. 

How can I search for information in the MT.GOV Connect web archive?

You can search either by entering a keyword or a state agency URL or web address. Important search tip: browsing the archived state agency website is often faster than sifting through numerous keyword search results.  

How can I tell when a web page was archived?

Archived web pages and their URL display a yellow banner that includes the date archived. Note that PDFs and other files do not display as web pages and thus they do not display a yellow banner indicating that they are archived. Sometimes a web archive link will take you to the live web, if it is linked to a page outside the archive.

Does MT.GOV Connect web archive have limitations?

The following content is challenging or impossible to archive: web-enabled databases requiring user input, information written in JavaScript, streaming audio, streaming video, navigation menus, and dynamic forms. Search boxes within archived web pages will not function.

Why do many state agencies have two domains archived?

The state government web has used two domain names --- state.mt.us and mt.gov --- during the period archived by MT.GOV Connect and at times these domains have overlapped each other.  A third domain named discoveringmontana.com appears to duplicate the other two domains. To do a thorough job of finding in the web collection all state pubs on a given topic, a researcher should check all three domains.

I'm concerned about MT.GOV Connect web crawlers negatively affecting my agency web server performance.  Is the MT.GOV Connect web crawling bandwith intensive?

No, the archive.org_bot does not consume much bandwith.  MSL has been crawling state agency websites for several years without any issues reported by state agency web managers.

What Montana state agency domains does MT.GOV Connect crawl?

Our web crawler crawls just external, not internal domains. MT.GOV Connect does not crawl test or development web servers.

How do I notify the MT.GOV Connect staff about missing web pages or a state website about to be removed?

Use this notification form.

What if I have concerns about content appearing in MT.GOV Connect?

Content found within MT.GOV Connect is considered part of the Montana State Library collection of materials and resources and thus falls underneath the MSL Commission Collection Development Policy. Anyone having a concern about MSL library materials may complete and submit a Statement of Concern as found on page 11 of the MSL Commission Collection Development Policy