The episode is described in these 2009 posts:
"Digital Archives that Disappear"
"Who The Hell is Google" (Librarian April 2009)
For a later, more comprehensive treatment of the disappearance of digital archives in Miller-McCune, see:
"Digital Disappearance" (Melinda Burns)
This paper compares "digital disappearance" to the "rectification" of the Records Department in Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Salvucci (who was a regular user of Paper of Record) is quoted in the paper:
"With what I know right now, every time I hear somebody is going to digitize something for posterity, I think to myself, 'Good luck.' Because if you can digitize it, you can vaporize it. This is not just a vision of some crazed social democrat in Britain" he said, in a reference to Orwell. " This is no joke. This is happening."
Pretty scary. I have had a digital archive sort of disappear. I had some collections of Toluca Valley Postclassic pottery, in the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History, posted on my website at my former university (similar to the pot shown here, which is from Calixtlahuaca). When I moved to ASU and switched my websites over, I assumed that everything would work well, and with some minor adjustments that was the case. But the site with the pottery photos does not work anymore. The museums had imposed strict requirements that required hand-editing the html in several hundred files (the galleries were generated automatically by a program called Arles, but then the html had to be edited by hand, by a kind student, to satisfy the museums). I'm not sure I have the skill to re-edit the html files, so my digital archive has effectively disappeared until I can figure out how to fix it.