The beta site of the UK Web Archive was finally launched at the end of 2017 and can be viewed here. This is just the beginning of what will involve a number of exciting developments to the site over 2018, eventually replacing the current web archive.
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What is the UK Web Archive? The UK Web Archive represents all of the UK Legal Deposit Libraries and aims to collect all of the UK Web Space annually. At least once year, an automated “crawl” is performed to capture as many UK websites as we can identify and save, preserve and give access to this material for current and future researchers.
This is an exciting new chapter for the UK Web Archiving at the Legal Deposit Libraries. The National Library of Wales has been archiving websites since 2004, and has collected thousands of sites. From 2004, we had to seek permission from the website owner to archive their website. This was a long and rather frustrating process especially as many did not reply.
This then changed for us all. The terms of the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 allowed the UK Web Archive to archive the whole of the UK web domain. This vast collection is available to view at the Legal Deposit Libraries’ Reading Rooms. Nevertheless, the aim is to provide ‘open access’ to as much of this collection as possible therefore do not be surprised as website owner to receive an email from us requesting permission to show archived copies of your site outside of the library reading rooms.
Furthermore, much focus is given to collecting websites relating to a specific event or topic and grouping them in a Special Collection. The National Library spent a significant amount of time collecting sites relating to the ‘2017 General Election’ and the ‘Impact of Brexit in Wales’. A collection for 2018 will involve a Special Collection on the Welsh language, a blog on this soon to follow.
What next for the UK Web Archive? A huge amount of sites are to be added to the UK Web Archive over the next 6 month and this is mostly covered in the UK Web Archive’s most recent blog What can you find in the (Beta) UK Web Archive? Further updates will be available from their Twitter feed and of course, a number of new blog posts will appear over the coming months on this blog relating to the UK Web Archive at the National Library of Wales and the UK Web Archive’s blog.
This post is also available in: Welsh