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Friday, February 26, 2010

UK Web Archive

UK Web ArchiveThe 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. The archive is free to view, accessed directly from the Web itself and, since archiving began in 2004, has collected thousands of websites

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