The UK web constitutes one of the most important aspects of the nation’s digital publications and is considered a vital element of UK’s creative outputs, which the national libraries are responsible to safeguard and preserve into the future. The web however is extremely vulnerable due to its rapid innovation and development. Websites can and do disappear frequently. Their preservation of and continued access have therefore become a matter 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 parties. 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 criteria such as 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.
Blog editor-in-chief: Maureen Pennock, The British Library
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