Thursday, 22 November 2007

A Conductive Education archive

Lost and found
I still receive enquiries about the possible availability of materials from the former websites of the Foundation for Conductive Education, the Conductive Education Website and Conductive Education Online (there was a change of name from the former to the latter in September 2003 as part of a general upgrade). I am particularly asked about postings on the very lively original Conductive Education Discussion Forum and the news of the conductive world reported in the Conductive Education Chronicle.

I am pleased to report that the news is fairly good and a massive amount of information is still retrievable, chronicling the development of the worldwide conductive movement during the later phase of the internationalisation of Conductive Education. I did in fact report this on the ‘new’ forum, on 28 August 2007. As the new forum is now off line I am republishing the information here on this blog.


The Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine

The Conductive Education Website and Conductive Education Online, both including the original Conductive Education Discussion Forum and Conductive Chronicle, are stored in remarkable entirety in the Internet Archive, which is run in collaboration with the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. It is nice to see Conductive Education so formally accessible through the same site as the Great Library of Alexandria!

The archive is openly accessible, free of charge, by way of the Wayback Machine search engine:

http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

All you have to do to find any ‘dead’ website is to enter its URL in the space provided and press the button “Take Me Back”. In the case of Conductive Education Website and Conductive Education Online you will then find lists of dates when they were updated over those years. Clicking one of these will take you instantly to the font page of the site requested as it was when it appeared at the time (barring some of the graphics in very early issues).

To make the fullest use of this facility in searching the Conductive Education Website and Conductive Education Online you will have to know that they went out under three different URLs:

http://www.conductive-education.org/

Sometimes the site was revised on all three URLs, sometimes on just two, and sometimes on only one – don’t ask me why! If you are looking for something around a particular time, therefore, it is best to search by way of all three URLs so as not to miss it.


Browsing these old pages

Once you are back in time, you will find that internal and external links can be followed up in the usual manner. The site can be a bit slow at this point. Be patient, the Archive does have more than 85 billion pages to search through!

Internal links can be followed on to secondary links – all the way, for example, to individual job adverts and particular letters and replies on the Discussion Forum.

This is a remarkable facility. The service can a bit hit and miss in finding every posting on the Discussion Forum at first try but, if you do not get through first time, go back later and try again and you may well be lucky. These are more than two-thousand discussion postings in store, with an alternative way of searching through them.

External links also still work, though you may find that some of these are now dead, being no longer live on the Internet for whatever reason. You can of course use the Wayback Machine to resurrect them but to do this you will have to know their URLs.


Conductive Education Website News

Conductive Education Website News was an associated e-mail update that ran from 2000 to 2004, sent to subscribers to inform them of new developments reported on the site. From 2001 onwards its back numbers were archives and are also accessible through “Take Me Back”, by entering the URL of its archive:

http://www.conductive-education,org.uk/html/webnews/archive.html

Again the Wayback Machine can be rather hit and miss when bringing up individual issues of this update – but if you persist you will get through to at least some of them.


Now and then

Some of the contents of the Conductive Education Website and Conductive Education Online live on in different ways, their wording incorporated over the years (usually unacknowledged!) into all sorts or websites and other publications. The originals comprise a remarkable historical resource for future historians, accessible with a bit of patience and providing a unique window on to an important few years of the internationalisation of Conductive Education. Older readers might find that a visit offers a trip down memory lane, with forgotten names and the sounds of bitter and distant battles. Newer readers will see that as ever the more things change the more they remain the same, and that events reported at the time may not have occurred precisely as they are now recalled.

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My thanks to Elliot Clifton for first drawing my attention to the Internet Archive.

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