National Film Board of Canada and Rhizome Collaborate to Enhance Emulated Browsers in Webrecorder

Today, Rhizome and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) are pleased to announce a growing technical collaboration on Webrecorder's remote browser system to ensure sustained access to important interactive digital films and web-based artworks in the NFB's collection. A federal cultural agency within the portfolio of the Canadian Heritage Department, the NFB is a public producer and distributor of Canadian content. Webrecorder, a project of Rhizome, is an open source web archiving platform used to collect, store and share interactive captures of web pages.

The result of this partnership will be significant enhancements to Webrecorder such that it becomes an ideal tool for meeting the NFB's needs as it works to preserve more than 100 interactive web-based productions in its collection. Through this project, Canada's audiovisual legacy will be better preserved and safeguarded for generations to come, even in the midst of major changes in web technology such as the discontinuation of support for Adobe Flash Player, scheduled to occur in 2020. All users of Webrecorder will be able to benefit from the enhancements made through this collaboration.

Webrecorder remains the only free-to-use, open source web archiving platform of its kind and is hosted online at Software development is core to Rhizome's multi-tiered support of born-digital art and culture. Through this partnership, software developers at the NFB and Rhizome will enhance Webrecorder’s capacity to share fully interactive, high-fidelity archival copies of contemporary and legacy websites through emulation of fixed versions of popular web browsers. The NFB's collection of interactive works for the web can be viewed at

The NFB will also be integrating web archives created with Webrecorder in its innovative, state-of-the-art Media Asset Management (MAM) system. Custom built in partnership with Atempo Digital Archive, the MAM manages the NFB’s massive digital-assets collection, comprising six Petabytes of content. The NFB/Rhizome collaboration will demonstrate how free, open source tools can be greatly improved through cooperative work and implemented to meet complex institutional needs such as those of the NFB.

The challenge of preserving the experience of the NFB's wide variety of interactive web projects initiated the collaboration between the NFB and Rhizome. Finding a means of archiving and replaying the interactive experience of a project initially conceived for the web is instrumental in the NFB's ongoing quest to push the boundaries of new technologies. The NFB R&D team has been working with Rhizome's Webrecorder team for over a year to achieve its preservation objectives for its entire collection of interactive productions for the web.

We'll look forward to sharing technical updates on this work at the Webrecorder blog. We're excited to develop Webrecorder further, and enhance access to NFB's important collection of born-digital art. 

Read the full press release with NFB: English, French.

Image Above: Online and app artworks currently on view at