The 2012 London Olympic & Paralympic Games have already generated a huge presence on the Web. To reflect and record this momentous event, the British Library’s web archiving team are building a special collection of websites: the London 2012 Collection.
We have been selecting Olympic related websites since 2008, though some of the content in the collection is even older and dates back to 2005 when London was one of the hopeful cities bidding to host the Games. The collection is intended to reflect not only the event itself but all aspects of the Games including their social and economic impact on London and the UK. Websites include those of official bodies such as London2012.com and the British Olympic Association as well as those of UK athletes, local councils, opinion forums and the Games’ corporate sponsors.
Alternative or dissenting voices are included to ensure a cohesive collection that represents the full spectrum of contemporary opinion about the Games. For example, several blogs and commentaries reflect concerns over the London Olympic overspend including the 2012 Watchdog from the Taxpayer's Alliance which monitors the costs to the taxpayer of the 2012 Games. Ken Frost's Olympic Blogspot monitors issues such as political developments, Olympics executive’s salaries and environmental concerns.
Other items in the Olympics Collection relate to arts and culture inspired by the Games. For example, the V&A has recently acquired a torch from the 1948 London Olympics, which is thought to have been used on the Belgium leg of its trip across Europe.
Currently, around 250 websites are already available to view in the UK Web Archive’s Olympic Collection. New websites are being added all the time and will continue to be archived until the end of 2012 to record the impact of the Games beyond the main event. Websites have been selected by subject specialists or curators across the British Library as well as members of the public. If you would like to nominate a site for inclusion in the archive we would be very pleased to hear from you.
Web Archivist, The British Library