When he first started his career as a journalist, Kevin Vaughan carefully clipped each story, scribbled the date on top and tucked it into a file folder. That turned, eventually, to grabbing the day's paper and tossing it in a closet. 

"It was like that for a long, long time."

By the time Vaughan started working at the Rocky Mountain News, the paper had an electronic archive. You couldn't see just how the story appeared that day, but you could read the text. And Vaughan saved less and less. He grabbed copies of his coverage of the Columbine shootings. He saved big packages. And he assumed his work would always exist online.

But when the Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009, its website also eventually crumbled away. With it went Vaughan's Pulitzer-nominated series, "The Crossing." The 34-part multimedia series debuted in 2007 and told the story of a 1961 train and school bus crash that killed 20 children. 

In August, eight years after it was first published and six years after it disappeared, Vaughan reintroduced the series in its original format to the Web. 

You might think of what he did as recreating a building. Yes, the terrain had changed. And so had the tools used to build it. But it was possible because Vaughan had the blueprints.

ROCK VS. PAPER
Thousands of years ago, we told stories by banging on rocks. 

"That was fairly permanent," said Edward McCain, digital curator of journalism and founder of Dodging the Memory Hole at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and University of Missouri Libraries' Journalism Digital News Archive. But those petroglyphs weren't super accessible. 

"You either had to go to where the rock was, or you had to be really strong and carry the rock around with you."

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