UK Web Archive blog

Information from the team at the UK Web Archive, the Library's premier resource of archived UK websites

The UK Web Archive, the Library's premier resource of archived UK websites


News and views from the British Library’s web archiving team and guests. Posts about the public UK Web Archive, and since April 2013, about web archiving as part as non-print legal deposit. Editor-in-chief: Jason Webber. Read more

11 May 2022

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in the UK Web Archive

By Daniela Major, PhD Student, School of Advanced Studies, University of London

Whether you’re an avid monarchist, a staunch republican or simply obsessed with Netflix’s “The Crown”, there is no doubt that Elizabeth II has achieved a unique place in history The 70 years of her reign have been witness to profound changes in world politics and in British society. When she was crowned, Churchill was her Prime Minister, Khrushchev was freshly in charge of the Soviet Union and Eisenhower had just become the President of the United States.

Queen Elizabeth II

Throughout her decades as monarch, Queen Elizabeth has worked with 14 UK Prime-Ministers and met 13 American Presidents. She has received state visits from countless foreign leaders, who themselves influenced the shape of 20th and 21st century history: from Charles de Gaulle to Mikhail Gorbachev.

During her reign, the United Kingdom went through dramatic changes. From the dismantling of the British Empire to referendums on Welsh devolution and Scottish independence. The Queen’s honour list depicts a country where diversity is celebrated. She’s given honours to authors such as V.S Naipaul and Salman Rushdie, singers like Paul McCartney and Bono and artists like Paula Rego.

For many reasons, the Platinum Jubilee is a great opportunity to explore this dialogue between the present and the past. How and why we celebrate, or how and why we refuse to do so, places us in a specific historical context. In this case, right into 21st century UK, in a world in constant change.

Queens Platinum Jubilee logos

So far, we have discovered that food is a favourite in every celebration. Fortnum & Mason and the Big Jubilee Lunch are celebrating the Jubilee by sponsoring a competition awarding the best pudding – following the Victoria Sponge, named after Queen Victoria, and Coronation Chicken, created in honour of Elizabeth II’s coronation. The judges include Mary Berry of Great British Bake-Off fame, food historian Regula Ysewijn and MasterChef’s Monica Galetti.

A slew of cultural celebrations are on the cards: The Reading Agency launched the Big Jubilee Read which chose ten outstanding books from the last 7 decades. The Royal Mint has created a commemorative coin and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra gave a concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Throughout the whole of the UK, Town Councils are preparing for street parties, tree planting, and jubilee lunches.

This is where you come in. The UK Web Archive wants to know how you are choosing to remember this Jubilee.

  • Are you taking part in the Jubilee’s bake-off?
  • Are you lighting a beacon or attending a street party?
  • Are you going to a protest? Have you written about how the UK cannot have 70 more years of monarchism?

Help us remember this moment in History so that future historical sources reflect the full diversity of public activity. Help us show how people across the UK celebrate important dates and how they look back to their own past, how they celebrate their present.

If you know of a website worth keeping for posterity, nominate it and make your suggestion.

23 February 2022

International Women’s Day 2022 - save your event ad now!

By Helena Byrne, Curator Web Archives, The British Library

8th March is International Women’s Day (IWD). Originally started in the trade union movement, IWD was an important day to highlight the inequalities women face and to campaign for equal rights. In recent years, IWD has had a wider remit and includes celebrating the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements as well as struggles of women.

British Library Votes for Women exhibition website

British Library, Votes for Women online exhibition webpages, archived 2018

Events of all kinds are held on 8th March or close to that date to mark the occasion. Most of these events are advertised online through websites, social media and in online event platforms like Eventbrite. A simple search on Eventbrite for International Women’s Day brings up 500 pages from around the world but mostly in the UK. A little over half of those events are advertised for London.

Are you attending or organising an IWD event this year that is advertised online? Nominate that website/online advert to the UK Web Archive by filling in our ‘Save a website’ form.

Glasgow Women's Library+

Glasgow Women's Library, archived 2008.

What is the UK Web Archive?
The UK Web Archive is a collaboration of the six UK legal deposit libraries working together to preserve websites for future generations. We archive websites published in the UK on a wide variety of subjects such as politics, sports, hobbies and social issues etc. and have over a hundred curated collections in the UK Web Archive.

On IWD 2022 you might be interested in browsing some of our collections related to women’s rights such as Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights (2020), Gender Equality (2018), Political Action & Communication (2015), and Women’s Issue (2005-2013).

We work with subject experts to curate our collections but also take nominations from the public so please nominate your IWD event ads or any other UK published content that you feel should be included in the UK Web Archive by filling in our ‘Save a website’ form.

07 February 2022

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the UK Web Archive

By Nicola Bingham, Lead Curator, Web Archives, British Library.

6th February 2022 marks 70 years since King George VI passed away in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham and Princess Elizabeth, his oldest daughter and next in line to the throne (who was in Kenya at the time) became Queen. She was crowned a little over a year later as Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, at age 27.

Platinum Jubilee
2022 will see communities come together to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee throughout the UK and Commonwealth. Celebrations will include street parties, concerts, the 'Queen's Green Canopy', an initiative to plant a tree for the jubilee, a Jubilee Pageant, 'a River of Hope', made up of flags decorated with images of hope drawn by children which will make its way along the Mall and the opening of the royal palaces, Sandringham and Balmoral to visitors amongst other events. The focal point of the celebrations will be a four-day long bank holiday weekend, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June.

Queens Platinum Jubilee logos

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee logos in English and Welsh.

The UK Web Archive will be capturing a record of this momentous event in a special collection about the Platinum Diamond Jubilee. 

We have a series of collections related to the Queen and other members of the royal family, dating back to 2012 when the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. This collection was co-curated by the Royal Archives at Windsor, the UK Legal Deposit Libraries and the Institute of Historical Research. It contains archived copies of websites produced by the Royal Household together with a wide range of related material such as Blogs, commentaries, news articles together with anti-monarchist and opposing views. Similarly in 2016 the Legal Deposit Libraries curated a collection to mark the Queen’s 90th Birthday.

Diamond Jubilee commemorative marmite


In 2021 staff at the Legal Deposit Libraries curated a collection to commemorate His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh (10th June 1921 to 9th April 2021). It includes the websites of many of the organisations that the Duke was associated with during his lifetime, either as President, Patron, Honorary Member or in another capacity. The Duke had special interests in scientific and technological research and development, the welfare of young people, education, conservation, the environment and the encouragement of sport. The collection also includes statements from Commonwealth Organisations reflecting on the life of the Duke.

British Racing Car Drivers website with Prince Phillip


This year we will be curating a collection to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. We'll announce ways to contribute to this collection in the near future, however in the meantime if you know of, or contribute to a UK or Commonwealth website with relevant content related to the Queen please let us know via our ‘Save a website’ form. We would be particularly pleased to hear from you if your website features personal or community stories about the Platinum Jubilee, or previous years’ Jubilee celebrations.