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

Introduction

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

05 October 2022

iPres 2022 Conference Report from the UK Web Archive

By Helena Byrne, Nicola Bingham, Dr Andrew Jackson, British Library and Eilidh MacGlone, National Library of Scotland 

IPres2022-logo

iPres is the largest international conference on digital preservation. The conference has been held every year since 2004. The 2022 edition was hosted by the DPC in Glasgow. This meant that the official conference website ipres2022.scot was within scope for the UK Web Archive to preserve. You can view the archived version of the website here: 

https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20220914105705/https://ipres2022.scot/ 

Screenshot of the iPres 2022 conference website

iPres 2022 was held from Monday 12 to Friday 16 September. There were a mix of presentations over the week with workshops, long papers, short papers, poster presentations and lightning talks as well as show and tell sessions in the form of a ‘Bake Off’. On the final day of the conference, there were a number of site visits to organisations that are running a digital preservation programme. 

This year’s conference also coincided with the 20th anniversary celebrations of the DPC, as well as the DPC Preservation Awards that are held every two years. In 2020, the UK Web Archive won The National Archives (UK) Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy at the virtual Digital Preservation Awards 2020 ceremony.

There are also a number of awards given at iPres in various categories. This year’s winner of the Angela Dappert Memorial Award established in 2021, was Dr Andrew Jackson, Technical Lead for the UK Web Archive for his presentation ‘Design Patterns in Digital Preservation: Understanding Information Flows’. 

Many UK Web Archive colleagues from the British Library, National Library of Scotland and Cambridge University Library attended the conference both as delegates and presenters. In this blog post they have reported back on their conference experience.

British Library

Dr Andrew Jackson
As well as presenting my Design Patterns paper, I was also involved in a workshop on format registries in digital preservation. Both sessions were well-attended and seemed to go well, and I’m planning to post about both in more detail in the future. 

I particularly enjoyed the session on DNA storage, especially because of Euan Cochrane’s approach: working with a DNA lab at Yale University to independently verify the work being done by Twist Bioscience.  It’s still a long way from being a storage option we can depend on, but it’s starting to look like it might actually happen!

There were a lot of good quality papers but I particularly enjoyed “Monitoring Bodleian Libraries' Repositories with Micro Services” presented by James Mooney. The overall approach was very similar to how I like to work, from the design of the overall architecture (federated monitoring of resources in situ rather than centralised and ingest-driven) to the style of implementation (microservices combined with best-in-class open source service components).

Nicola Bingham
This was the first iPres conference I have attended. I wish I could have been there in person but due to practicalities, I attended online. Some of my highlights were the presentation from William Kilbride in which he stated that one of the aims of the DPC was to build “the social infrastructure of digital preservation” (as opposed to focussing on technical aspects), which I think has always been true but is now more so than ever especially when it comes to diversifying our archives and enabling communities to have agency in telling their own stories, as articulated by Tamar Evangelista-Dougherty in her keynote. 

Other highlights were hearing from Garth Stewart, Head of Digital Records at National Records Scotland. Garth presented on NRS’s two year project to ingest and make available Scottish Government Cabinet Records and had practical advice for negotiating the transfer of good quality metadata from the depositors - it’s all about gaining trust and explaining to depositors that the quality of metadata provided impacts the experience of the end users. I was also intrigued that they had the challenge of building and maintaining two access solutions, one for journalist access and one for the public. 

A final highlight for me was the long paper, “A Digital Preservation Wikibase” by Kenneth Seals-Nutt of Yale University. Kenneth’s presentation set down the practical steps taken by Yale University Library’s department of digital preservation to implement a Wikibase instance and how this was used to transform a data set related to software into a knowledge base using technologies of the Semantic Web. This is particularly useful to us at the UK Web Archive as we consider the next steps in our web archiving roadmap. 

Helena Byrne
This was my first time attending iPres but I wasn’t able to make it in person so I was delighted that they had an option to join the conference remotely. I was also involved in a collaborative poster presentation with Katharina Schmid (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) and Sharon Healy (Maynooth University). Our poster ‘Exploring Software, Tools and Methods used in Web Archive Research’ was part of a bigger study that will be published through WARCnet in the coming weeks. 

There were so many great talks, especially around inclusion and diversity in the wider digital preservation field. This along with activism was also a common theme in the three keynotes. These were all very different in scope so it is hard to pick one over the other but I will definitely be watching back over these in the coming weeks and I will share them with colleagues when they are published online.

National Library of Scotland

Eilidh MacGlone
I was grateful to have the opportunity to attend iPres this year. This was my first experience of the conference, and it was a happy one. There were lots of opportunities to meet up with new people and catch up with those I knew from the preservation world. And it was useful! The continuous improvement models are a very handy way to set achievable targets to professionals who are often the only preservationists in their organisation. I know this will be useful to me, even though I am not on my own. I was fascinated to hear about DNA data storage, which although not yet operating at scale, has interesting properties of robustness at room temperature.

The next iPres conference will be held in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in the U.S.A. from September 19 - 22, 2023.

04 October 2022

iPres report: a simple workshop exercise using Robust Links 

By Eilidh MacGlone, Web Archivist, National Library of Scotland

Inspiration at iPres
I had the opportunity to attend iPres 2022, an international conference dedicated to digital preservation. One of the sessions - Robust Links - run by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), really sparked ideas for me. Robust Links offers anyone the opportunity to make links more permanent and less susceptible to 'link rot'. You add a link and it offers several options, one being to link to a 'memento' version of the web page.

It initially seemed out of reach, a bit too technical; but, listening, I recalled using glitch. It is a platform which can handle JavaScript and style sheets. I have known about Robust Links for a few years, but it delighted me to have it function in a page I built. This step was valuable to me: it helped me phrase the question I need to ask within my own organisation. 

NLS workshop
I was therefore inspired to include Robust Links in this workshop exercise for National Library of Scotland staff. I asked attendees to create another category for an imaginary "Scottish Music collection". I built this with websites we already collect. I was going to share this as a document file, but it became a web page following a quick refresher on HTML. 

Screenshot of the 'scottish music collection' website 

In this way, Robust Links create a kind of distributed collection through “archived near” links without the risk of cutting each other off. Legal deposit items have to be read by one person at a time, which can make a task that shares the same titles a little tricky. It also gives us the chance to talk about how the new categories interact with the original list. Here were our results: 

Screenshot of the results section of the 'scottish music collection' website

It was also a starting point for retrieving information through public directories. These included OSCR, the charities register for Scotland and the Companies House register. Finally, it is a kind of crowd sourcing exercise. More than a quarter (six out of twenty one) were not in the archive. 

Colleagues gave positive feedback about our workshop, and this exercise. I plan to continue developing the idea and would love to hear from anyone making their own version. 

30 September 2022

Celebrating Sporting Heritage Day 2022

By Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives, The British Library

NSHD-Facebook-Banner-Sport-Icons-2.jpg-564x339

This blog post gives an overview of our sports related activities for the year to celebrate Sporting Heritage Day 2022 

2022 has been, and continues to be, a really busy year for international sport especially in the UK. The Winter Olympics in Beijing and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham were  always scheduled to take place in 2022 years in advance. But as the Covid-19 pandemic caused disruption to many events in 2020 and 2021 many sporting events were postponed. The UEFA Women's Euros and the Rugby League World Cup, both hosted by England, were moved from 2021 to 2022, meaning that 2022 was even busier than normal in terms of major sporting events.

Sports has always been an Important part of the UK Web Archive so 2022 has been a busy year for us so far. Since 2017, sports has been grouped into three separate collections. 

Sports Collection - https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/collection/1768 

Sports: Football - https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/collection/1490 

Sports: International Events - https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/collection/2315 

The UK Web Archive regularly publishes blog posts about sport, which can be found here: https://blogs.bl.uk/webarchive/sports/

2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

As members of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) both the British Library and the National Library of Scotland contributed to the IIPC Content Development Group (CDG) 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics collection.

The Olympics took place in Beijing from 4 to 20 February 2022, while the Paralympics were also in Beijing from 4 to 13 March 2022. 

The collection archived 863 items which included whole websites, subsections or individual pages from websites. These items are from 38 countries and 24 different languages are represented in the collection. Topics covered both events on and off the sporting field.

Browse the collection here:

https://archive-it.org/collections/18422 

UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022

The UEFA Women's Euro 2022 competition took place across England from July 6 to July 31, 2022. Although the event is over we are still collecting websites about the Euros from around the UK till the end of October. 

This collection covers both the sporting and cultural achievements of the event. There are over 275 items in the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 collection.

So far we have published seven blog posts about the Women’s Euros and there are still more to come. They can be found on the UK Web Archive blog with the sports tag here:

https://blogs.bl.uk/webarchive/sports/ 

Browse the collection here: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/collection/4278

Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022

Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 ran from 28 July to 8 August. Although the sporting events are over the cultural programme is continuing for a number of weeks. This means that UKWA still has an open call for nominations for this collection.

The collection covers both the sporting and cultural achievements as well as the social impact of this mega event. So far there are 434 items in the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 collection.

Browse the collection here: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/collection/4228 

Rugby League World Cup 2021

The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from 15 October to 19 November 2022 across England. 

This event is unique in that the men's, women's and wheelchair competition all take place alongside each other. You can nominate your UK published Rugby League World Cup content here: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/nominate 

Updates on this collection will be published on the UK Web Archive blog and Twitter account

When published this collection will sit as a subsection of the Sports: International Events collection on the UKWA Topics & Themes page and will be available here: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/collection/2315 

Access to the collections 

All of the archived content in the IIPC CDG 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics collection is open access. CDG collaborative collections are archived using the Archive-It platform meaning that all archived content is open access, although a publisher may  request its removal under the Internet Archives’ general terms and conditions

All CDG collections can be viewed here: https://archive-it.org/home/IIPC 

UK Web Archive Content has a mix of on-site and remote access due to the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations implemented in 2013. The full manifest of  content selected for UK Web Archive collections is visible on the website but access to individual archived websites depends on permission being granted by website publishers.  A note under each title informs users whether they can view the archived website online or whether they need to visit a UK Legal Deposit Library to view the archived content. 

All curated collections can be found on the Topics and Themes page of the UK Web Archive website: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/category 

Get involved

The UK Web Archive is a partnership of the six UK legal Deposit Libraries and works with other external partners in order to expand  our subject expertise. We can’t curate the whole of the UK web on our own, however - we need your help to ensure that information, discussions and creative output related to sports is preserved for future generations.

Anyone can suggest UK published websites to be included in the UK Web Archive by filling in our nomination form: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/nominate