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

2 posts from April 2012

16 April 2012

Scholarly value of the UK Web Archive?

Tell us what you think about the UK Web Archive

Question-markIf you are a postgraduate researcher or a university lecturer we would like to get your feedback on the research value of the UK Web Archive. It doesn’t even matter if you have already used the archive or not.

We have commissioned an independent research agency – IRN Research – to gather information on the needs of archive users and potential users. If you would like to help shape the future development of the archive please register your interest.

In the next few weeks you will be contacted by a researcher and emailed an online facilitated walkthrough of the archive which will explain how the site works in just a few minutes. Using this walkthrough, you will be asked to answer questions about the content, functions, and tools available and your interest in, and likely use, of the archive.

All your answers will be treated in the strictest confidence and all those taking part will have the chance to win one of a number of £20 book tokens.

To take part in the research, please register.

13 April 2012

Improved search functionality

We've recently implemented some changes to our search functionality in the UK Web Archive, particularly for full text searching.

We first enabled full text searching in the web archive a few years ago. This was a great leap forwards from title searches alone, but it was often time consuming to wade through the results. We harvest sites on a recurring basis, so the search results often contained a lot of 'noise' and duplicate results as the same instance often appeared several times over.

Search results are now grouped by domain, making it easier to immediately see which websites contain references to the search term(s) and easily identifying the context in which the search term appears. For domain results we group URLs by date. This eliminates duplicate entries in results but still provides temporal access when there is more than one instance captured.


We have improved our content type filter, making it quicker and easier to filter by content type(s). Search results are now grouped by content type, separating 'documents' from 'images' and 'multimedia', in recognition of the fact that people will often be searching for a specific type of content. This is still in development and we know that it doesn't always work perfectly - images can appear in the documents tab when they are served from a single html page, for example. We're keen to hear from people about this feature, and whether they think it's useful.

We've also started to roll out some social media integration. It's now easy to share any of the resources in the search results, using the links provided under each one.


And finally, you can now use the Advanced Search tab to filter by archiving organisation. For example, if you're only interested in sites archived by the Wellcome Library, you can specify this prior to running the search. Only sites selected by thesethis institutions will then be included in your search results. 

We've lots more development planned over the next few years. If there are any particular features or functionality that you'd like to see, please do get in touch.