g1smd - 8:16 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
I don't understand what's meant using a 410 for an archive. It doesn't make sense to me. When you 410 a page, it's gone.
The "410 Gone" is a status code delivered in the HTTP header, and has no relationship to what is shown to humans or bots on the HTML page. You can deliver any 2xx, 4xx, or 5xx status code in the HTTP header before the HTML page is served.
In this case, the 410 status code is delivered at the originally requested URL. The 410 status code tells search engines to de-index the page. That will take days to weeks to happen. You will therefore still get visitors to that page from the SERPs until the page is de-indexed. You can continue showing content on that page to the visitors that continue to arrive. Once the page drops from the SERPs that page can be changed to deliver a standard error message.