Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

Committee Director

Michele C. Weigle

Committee Member

Michael L. Nelson

Committee Member

Justin F. Brunelle


When replaying an archived web page (known as a memento), the fundamental expectation is that the page should be viewable and function exactly as it did at archival time. However, this expectation requires web archives to modify the page and its embedded resources, so that they no longer reference (link to) the original server(s) they were archived from but back to the archive. Although these modifications necessarily change the state of the representation, it is understood that without them the replay of mementos from the archive would not be possible. Unfortunately, because the replay of mementos and the modifications made to them by web archives in order to facilitate replay varies between archives, the terminology for describing replay and the modification made to mementos for facilitating replay does not exist. In this thesis, we propose terminology for describing the existing styles of replay and the modifications made on the part of web archives to mementos in order to facilitate replay. This thesis also, in the process of defining terminology for the modifications made by client-side rewriting libraries to the JavaScript execution environment of the browser during replay, proposes a general framework for the auto-generation of client-side rewriting libraries. Finally, we evaluate the effectiveness of using a generated client-side rewriting library to augment the existing replay systems of web archives by crawling mementos replayed from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine with and without the generated client-side rewriter. By using the generated client-side rewriter we were able to decrease the cumulative number of requests blocked by the content security policy of the Wayback Machine for 577 mementos by 87.5% and increased the cumulative number of requests made by 32.8%. Also by using the generated client-side rewriter, we were able to replay mementos that were previously not replayable from the Internet Archive.


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