THE BRITISH LIBRARY

UK Web Archive blog

30 January 2013

Surfing the web in time: Mementos

Have you ever needed to see a copy of a now-lost website, and didn't know where to start ? Help is at hand, with Mementos.

Mementos search

The Memento protocol has been around for a while (since 2009). It's a way of adding a time dimension to our common HTTP-based way of browsing the web, and has been available as a plug-in for Firefox. (See mementoweb.org for details.)

On the UKWA site, we have launched an alternative web-based way of delivering Memento, without needing to amend your browser. Mementos allows you to search across multiple different web archives around the world at once - particularly helpful if you don't know by which territorial web archive a site is most likely to be kept. It gives a breakdown of how many versions each archive holds, and from when, and leads users through to the archived versions themselves.

Get started with the search page; or, see it in action for the Google homepage (over 4,000 snapshots in four archives since 1999) and the BBC homepage (more than 5,000, in five archives, since 1996).

For those interested in the detailed workings and in reusing the web client, the source code is hosted on Github.

Peter Webster

 

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