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The web is a big and rapidly changing place, so it can be challenging to discover what resources related to a particular event or topic are in need of archiving. Appraisal is an umbrella term for the many processes by which archivists identify records of enduring value for preservation in an archive. DocNow is an appraisal tool for the social web that uses Twitter.

DocNow allows archivists to tap into conversations in Twitter to help them discover what web resources are in need of archiving. It also connects archivists with content creators in order to make the process of archving web content more collaborative and consentful. The goal of DocNow is to help ensure ethical practices in web archiving by building conversations between archivists and the communities they are documenting.


This repository houses the complete DocNow application which is comprised of a few components:

  • a client side application (React)
  • a server side REST API (Node)
  • a database (PostgreSQL)
  • a messaging queue database (Redis)


If you are running DocNow in production you will want to check out docnow-ansible which allows you to provision and configure DocNow in the cloud.


To set up DocNow locally on your workstation you will need to install Git and Docker. Once you've got them installed open a terminal window and follow these instructions:

  1. git clone
  2. cd docnow
  3. cp .env.docker .env
  4. docker-compose build --no-cache
  5. docker-compose up
  6. make some ☕️
  7. open http://localhost:3000

If you run into an error above

  1. sh

If you notice that the redis container occasionally errors out run this in the host operating system as root (not in the Redis container):

sysctl vm.overcommit_memory=1


Appraising the web through Twitter. What could go wrong?




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