UK Web Archive
The UK Web Archive at the British Library has collected thousands of UK websites since 2004 and "the Archive is growing fast": "...You can see how sites have changed over time, locate information no longer available on the live Web and observe the unfolding history of a spectrum of UK activities represented online. Sites that no longer exist elsewhere are found here and those yet to be archived can be saved for the future by nominating them. The Archive contains sites that reflect the rich diversity of lives and interests throughout the UK. Search is by Title of Website, Full Text or URL, or browse by Subject, Special Collection or Alphabetical List." Single collection of websites are also available like the Women's Library: "This collection of web sites about women's issues is maintained by the British Library in collaboration with the Women's Library, London Metropolitan University. It includes sites of women's organisations and campaigns, research reports, government publications and statistics pertaining to women, personal sites of women, such as blogs, and women focused e-zines." "The UK Web Archive contains websites that publish research, that reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK, and demonstrate web innovation. This includes "grey literature" sites: those that carry briefings, reports, policy statements, and other ephemeral but significant forms of information. There are millions of UK websites. They are constantly changing and even disappearing. Often they contain information that is only available online. Responding to the challenge of a potential "digital black hole" the UK Web Archive is there to safeguard as many of these websites as practical. Its purpose is to collect, preserve and give permanent access to key UK websites for future generations. Contributors to the UK Web Archive seek permission from the website owner for every website it archives. This is costly and difficult (many owners simply don't respond to the request) so we have been lobbying for the necessary Government regulation to gather all in-scope UK websites automatically. The British Library and other "legal deposit libraries" have this right in principle under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act (2003) but need a further legal regulation to go ahead. Because websites are revisited and snapshots ("instances") are taken at regular intervals, readers can see how a website evolves over time."

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Saturday, 17 March 2012 - 10:20pm
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