UK Web Archiving Consortium
The UK Web Archiving Consortium (UKWAC) was a consortium of six leading UK institutions working collaboratively on a pilot operation archiving selected UK websites. UKWAC consisted of the British Library, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), the National Archives (UK), the National Library of Wales, the National Library of Scotland, and the Wellcome Library.
Consortium members started to archive selected websites in 2005 using PANDAS software, developed by the National Library of Australia (once appropriate permissions have been obtained from website owners) relevant to their interests. For example, the Wellcome Library focussed on collecting medical sites, whilst the National Library of Wales collected sites that reflect life in contemporary Wales. The British Library had a broad policy to collect sites of cultural, historical and political importance to the UK.
The Consortium itself was wound up in 2010, and the role of UKWAC as a focus for web archiving in the UK has been absorbed by the Digital Preservation Coalition and its Web Archiving and Preservation Task Force. The work of selective archiving continues, and the results are publicly available in the UK Web Archive, and in the public archives of the Consortium's former members.
UK Web Archive
Once sites have been archived, catalogued and checked for completeness, they are made freely accessible through the UK Web Archive website. Users are able to search the archive by keyword or URL, or browse using broad subject headings. Within the Archive there are Special Collections of archived sites grouped as representative of a particular event, or topic.
As of October 2013 the UK Web Archive contains about 13,500 titles - and about 61,900 instances of these titles (snapshots of each web site for which permission to archive was granted, often six-monthly). The UK Web Archive continues to selectively archive websites of interest from the UK domain. Public nominations are welcome via the UKWA website
The British Library, in partnership with the other five legal deposit libraries for the UK, has begun domain-wide archiving of the UK web domain under the terms of the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations, enacted in April 2013. The entire legal deposit web archive will be available to registered users on premises controlled by one of the legal deposit libraries. The UK Web Archive team will seek permissions to include offsite access to parts of the archive on the UK Web Archive site.
- UK Web Archive home page
- The UKWA blog
- Digital Preservation Coalition - Web Archiving and Preservation Task Force
- UK Government Web Archive similar site for government sites only, run by UK National Archives