The UK web is one of the most important aspects of the nation’s digital record. But the web is extremely vulnerable, and websites can and do disappear frequently. Preserving them, and providing access to those preserved versions, have become matters of urgency and strategic importance.
In response to this challenge, the UK Web Archive was established in 2004 to collect, make accessible and preserve web resources of scholarly and cultural importance from the UK domain. Initially a consortium project with six key partners, the UK Web Archive is now primarily managed and developed by the British Library with input from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), the National Library of Wales, and the Wellcome Library.
The collection is selective, built on nominations from subject specialists and other external experts. The British Library prioritises websites that:
- reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK;
- contain research value or are of research interest;
- feature political, cultural, social and economic events of national interest;
- demonstrate innovative use of the web.
Among the prioritised categories, considerations informing selection also include whether content is only published on the web and whether a website is at risk of being lost.
To nominate a site for consideration, please fill out the nominations form on the UK Web Archive website.
In addition to this selective archiving, in April 2013 the British Library began archiving the whole UK web domain under the provisions of the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations of 2013, in conjunction with the other five legal deposit libraries for the UK.
Blog editor-in-chief: Peter Webster, British Library
All text is © British Library Board and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence, except where otherwise stated.