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

11 posts categorized "Digital scholarship"

24 January 2024

Exploring Alternative Access: Making the Most of Web Archives During UK Web Archive Downtime

Nicola Bingham, Lead Curator of Web Archiving, British Library

The British Library is continuing to experience disruption following a cyber-attack and are working hard to restore services. Disruption to some services is, however, expected to persist for several months. In the meantime, our buildings are open and we’ve released a searchable online version of our main catalogue, which contains records of the majority of our printed collections as well as some freely available online resources. Our reference team are on hand to answer queries, advise on collection item availability and help with other ways to complete your work. Please email [email protected] or find out more. The disruption is affecting our website, online systems and services. Please see our temporary website for up-to-date information.

Despite the disruption to access to the UK Web Archive, we continue to crawl or acquire copies of websites, as well as add new websites to our acquisition process which is being undertaken with Amazon Web Services in the Cloud, ensuring that the UK Web Archive collection is updated and preserved as usual.

We appreciate that for regular users of the UK Web Archive, the temporary unavailability of this valuable resource is inconvenient and disruptive. There exist several alternative openly accessible web archives that can serve as sources of information while the UK Web Archive is offline.

Other Openly Accessible Web Archives

Internet Archive: Known as the largest and most comprehensive web archive globally, it includes the famous Wayback Machine and boasts an extensive collection of archived web pages.

Understanding the Differences

While the Internet Archive captures a broad spectrum of global content, the UK Web Archive focuses specifically on the UK web. The UK Web Archive offers comprehensive crawls, curated collections, and secondary datasets for research. However, access is primarily restricted to legal deposit libraries, with some resources available openly.

The Internet Archive allows remote access to archived websites, but its search functionalities and scope differ from the UK Web Archive.

Memento Time Travel: This innovative platform operates under the Memento protocol, allowing users to view archived websites across various openly accessible web archives. It acts as a bridge, enabling access to past versions of web resources stored in archives such as the Internet Archive, Archive-It, UK Web Archive, archive.today, GitHub, and more. While it displays links to Mementos, it doesn’t retain the content itself.

Portuguese Web Archive (Arquivo.pt): Developed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, this archive aims to preserve and grant access to the Portuguese web domain and its contents. It also archives a significant amount of European Union and transnational content. It's a valuable resource for preserving the digital heritage of Portugal and contributing to the preservation of European and Portuguese-language online information.

UK Government Web Archive: An openly accessible archive preserving UK central government information, encompassing videos, tweets, images, and websites dating from 1996 to the present day.

UK Parliament Web Archive: This openly accessible archive covers parliamentary websites and social media content from 2009 to the present day.

National Records of Scotland Web Archive: Offering open access, this archive allows browsing and searching of websites related to Scotland’s people and history.

Seeking Information and Resources While the UK Web Archive is offline, the UK Web Archive blog remains accessible and serves as a useful source of information about the archive.

Additionally, although the UK Web Archive itself might be temporarily inaccessible, its information pages have been preserved by the Internet Archive, accessible [here] (https://web.archive.org/web/20240000000000*/https://www.webarchive.org.uk).

For those keen on delving deeper, the British Library Research Repository houses supporting documents related to the UK Web Archive, such as collection scoping documents, annual reports, statistics, and research publications. The repository can be accessed [here](https://doi.org/10.23636/hj5v-3c07).

While the UK Web Archive takes a brief hiatus, we hope these alternative resources help. And perhaps embracing these other openly accessible archives might even unveil new avenues and perspectives for exploration.

While we work hard to recover all our online services you can find regular updates on progress published on our Knowledge Matters blog.

28 July 2023

UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Association Launch Event Report from the British Library

By Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives, Frankie Perry, Music Manuscripts and Archives Cataloguer and Stella Wisdom, Digital Curator for Contemporary British Collections

UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Association Launch Event Banner with event details
UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Association Launch Event Banner

The First Annual Event for the UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Association took place  on 29th and 30th June 2023 at Senate House, University of London as well as online. The Association “aims to build a collaborative vision for the field, and create new and sustainable long-term partnerships in alignment with the international community”. The programme set across one and half days covered a wide variety of topics and included an opportunity for the Community Interest Groups to meet up. 

The British Library was involved in four presentations either as an individual presentation or as part of a collaborative project. In this blog post we hear back from the British Library colleagues who attended.

Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives

I was involved in two collaborative presentations with Sharon Healy (Maynooth University) and Juan-José Boté-Vericad (Universitat de Barcelona). Our first presentation was a lightning talk on day one called 'Finding Web Archives under the ‘Big Tent’ of DH: A Case Study of Ireland and the UK'. This presented one element of a forthcoming chapter in a WARCnet edited collection on web archiving. This presentation reviewed postgraduate courses for the provision of web archiving in information management and digital humanities courses in Britain and Ireland. Our second presentation was part of Panel #2 on day two called 'The Potential of a Reborn Digital Archival Edition for Collating a Corpus of Archived Web Materials'. This presentation outlined a methodology for researchers without coding skills to select, collate and analyse a corpus of archived websites. 

The highlight for me was Panel #3, especially the presentation 'Towards a Critical Black Digital Humanities: A Critical Librarian’s Response' by Naomi L.A Smith (University of West London). This presentation and the discussion that followed highlighted some of the challenges as well as some of the positive action steps that can be taken to ensure digital humanities research is more inclusive. 

Frankie Perry, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, InterMusE project, University of York / Music Manuscripts and Archives Cataloguer, British Library

I gave a paper with Prof. Rachel Cowgill (University of York) who is Principal Investigator on the InterMusE project – a collaborative venture between musicologists, computer scientists, and archive and library specialists funded by the AHRC’s UK-US New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions programme. The British Library is an institutional partner, with Dr Rupert Ridgewell (Lead Curator, Printed Music) as Co-Investigator; the universities of Swansea and Illinois at Urbana-Champagne are further partners, and we’re also working with the University of Waikato. In our paper, we introduced the complexities of sourcing, digitising, and piecing together ephemera relating to historical musical events (eg. concert programmes, flyers, newspaper reviews), using as our case study materials relating to the British Music Society (1918-1933) and its regional centres and branches. We showed the interface of the digital archive built for the project, which uses a combination of the Greenstone Digital Library system, the Mirador Annotation Viewer, and the SimpleAnnotationServer to make materials browsable, searchable, and interactive for musicologists and community users alike.

I really enjoyed the event and the snapshot it provided into current digital humanities research and techniques. I especially enjoyed a paper by Orla Delaney (Cambridge) on 'Database ethnography and the museum object record', and one by Lisa Griffith (Digital Repository of Ireland) and Laura Molloy (CODATA) titled 'Pathways to collaboration – creating and sharing GLAM image collections as data'.

Stella Wisdom, Digital Curator for Contemporary British Collections

My lightning talk 'Collaborating to Curate and Exhibit Complex Digital Literature' reflected on the cooperation between curators, researchers, experimental writers and creative practitioners to plan and produce the British Library’s Digital Storytelling exhibition (2 June 2023 - 15 October 2023). A hands-on display, which explores the ways that digital innovations have transformed and enhanced our narrative experiences. Showcasing eleven examples of electronic literature that invite readers to become a part of the story themselves, through interactive narratives that respond to user input, reading experiences influenced and personalised by data feeds, and works that draw from multiple platforms and audience participation to create immersive story worlds. Preparing and in some cases modifying these interactive works to display them in a public gallery has only been possible through practical collaborations between Library staff with the writers and games studios who created these digital stories. I shared some insights from my experience of this co-curation work and encouraged attendees to visit the exhibition.

It was a pleasure to meet a number of people in real life who I had only previously spoken with online. A personal highlight was hearing Reham Hosny from the University of Cambridge and Minia University speak about 'DH and E-Lit Communities: Intersectional Perspectives'. In the refreshment breaks at this event I chatted with Reham about her novel, Al-Barrah (The Announcer) and she demonstrated to me how both augmented reality and hologram technologies work with the printed book to immerse readers in this thought provoking narrative.

04 November 2020

Curating culturally themed collections online: The Russia in the UK Collection, UK Web Archive

By Hannah Connell, Collaborative PhD Student, King’s College London; British Library

Title slide from Hannah's presentation with a London Underground map in Russian

 

I spoke about my position as a curator for the Russia in the UK curated collection as part of the recent Engaging with Web Archives conference (EWA), which was held online from the 21st-22nd of September 2020. This conference reflected the breadth of the web archiving community, bringing together speakers from researchers to librarians, as well as curators and web archiving teams from many different countries.

As always, it was inspiring to participate in such a welcoming event. Even online, the conference retained the collaborative atmosphere which has marked my experience of research in web archiving, allowing new researchers to interact with more experienced practitioners and encouraging questions and conversations between researchers, users and archivists.

The researcher-curated collection, Russia in the UK, is part of the UK Web Archive (UKWA). I was particularly pleased to have had the opportunity to present this curated collection, a resource on the Russian-speaking community in the UK, which was first started in November 2017. Such collections play an important role in making the wide range of material preserved in the UKWA more visible to researchers.

Curators are important to the preservation work of the UKWA. Curated collections are collected manually by curators and researchers with specialist knowledge in their field. The role of a curator in creating a UKWA collection involves identifying relevant websites to be included in a collection, and recording the metadata for these websites, including the translation and transliteration of titles and descriptions in other languages.

This collection is valuable both as a resource for further research, and as a means of questioning research practices. It is not possible to capture everything on the web, and collection curators ensure that a representative sample of websites for each thematic collection are selected. The practice of creating and maintaining a collection such as the Russia in the UK  ultimately influences the shape of the collection and the online representation of the diasporic community it will come to reflect. As such, it is important for researchers and users to understand the decisions taken by curators in selecting and capturing websites.

My paper for EWA focused on the creation of a curation guide for curators of new curated collections. This  draws on the ongoing process of curating the Russia in the UK collection, documenting both the provenance of this special collection and reflecting on this process as a model for future collections.  

In documenting the creation of this collection, I hope to enable future researchers to explore and contribute to this record of the online activity of the Russian diaspora in the UK, and to question and develop the curatorial and research practices behind the curation of collections.

You can watch Hannah Connell’s presentation on the EWA YouTube channel.

 

02 November 2020

Digital archaeology in the web of links: reconstructing a late-90s web sphere

By Dr. Peter Webster, Independent Scholar, Historian and Consultant

Fiber cables for the internet

 

The historian of the late 1990s has a problem. The vast bulk of content from the period is no longer on the live web; there are few, if any, indications of what has been lost – no inventory of the 1990s web against which to check. Of the content that was captured by the Internet Archive (more or less the only archive of the Anglophone web of the period), only a superficial layer is exposed to full-text search, and the bulk may only be retrieved by a search for the URL. We do not know what was never archived, and in the archive it is difficult to find what we might want, since there is no means of knowing the URL of a lost resource. Sometimes we need, then, to understand the archived web using only the technical data about itself that it can be made to disclose.

Niels Brügger has defined a web sphere as ‘web material … related to a topic, a theme, an event or a geographic area’.  My paper at the EWA conference presents a method of reconstructing a web sphere, much of which is lost from the live web and exists only in the Internet Archive: the web estate of the many conservative Christian campaign groups in the UK in the 1990s and early 2000s.

This method of web sphere reconstruction is based not on page content but on the relationships between sites, i.e., the web of hyperlinks. The method is iterative, and tracks back and forth between big data and small. Individual archived pages and directories, printed sources, the scholarly record itself, and even traces of previous unsuccessful attempts at web archiving come into play, as does a large dataset held by the British Library. From the more than 2 billion lines in the UK Host Link Graph dataset it is possible to extract the outlines of this particular web sphere.

You can watch Peter Webster’s presentation on his website peterwebster.me

 

Previous studies using a similar method are: 

Webster, Peter. 2019. Lessons from cross-border religion in the Northern Irish web sphere: understanding the limitations of the ccTLD as a proxy for the national web. In The Historical Web and Digital Humanities: the Case of National Web domains, eds Niels Brügger & Ditte Laursen, 110-23. London: Routledge.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/yms5-9v95     

Webster, Peter. 2017. Religious discourse in the archived web: Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, and the sharia law controversy of 2008. In: The Web as History, eds Niels Brügger & Ralph Schroeder, 190-203. London: UCL Press. (Available Open Access at:  https://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/84010)

 

30 October 2020

The UK Web Archive creeps and crawls into the domain of Halloween with byte sized steps

By Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives at the British Library

Spider web with one spider some small flies stuck in the web and a dragon fly hovering just above the web.
Creepy crawlers - British Library digitised image from page 79 of "The Child's Book of Poetry. A selection of poems, ballads and hymns"

 

Halloween and the UK Web Archive

From the start of October all the shops and supermarkets were filling up with Halloween costumes, decorations and lots of fun sized confectionery that are easy to share with some of the trick-o-treaters who might be knocking on your door. It is not clear yet how the coronavirus pandemic will impact any of the informal celebrations that take place every year. No doubt the UK Web Archive crawlers are picking up lots of Halloween and 5th of November themed webpages as part of the 2020 Domain Crawl.

Halloween in the UK is often perceived to be a cultural import from North America. A YouGov poll in 2019 showed that only 30% of people surveyed were planning to celebrate the occasion. This Shine graph shows how the popularity of the term on the archived .uk web has increased in popularity over time. 

Click on a point in the graph to see a sample of how the phrase is used.

 

Screenshot of the search for Halloween on the UK Web Archive Shine trends search

 

Halloween History

The tradition of Halloween actually goes back centuries and was widely celebrated by people in Ireland, Britain and northern France. During pagan times, the 1st of November was officially the start of winter, this season was  associated with death as the crops, wildlife and many people died due to the cold and lack of sunlight during this period. Because of this day’s association with death, it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth on the night of the 31st October. It was during the Reformation that the tradition of celebrating Halloween died out in Britain, especially in England

A recent YouGov poll has shown that Guy Fawkes Night is more popular in Great Britain than Halloween

 

The 5th of November

The commemoration on the 5th of November goes by many names, traditionally it was Guy Fawkes Night but is sometimes referred to as Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night. But there seems to be some regional differences in what term is used and how the night is celebrated. 

What do you call this commemoration?

This is a question we visited back in 2017 and as you can see in the Shine graph in more recent years the term Bonfire Night was used more widely on the archived .uk web. 

 

Screenshot of the search results for Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes, Gun Powder Plot and Fireworks Night on the UK Web Archive Shine interface

 

Get creative with Halloween at the British Library

Our Assistant Web Archivist, Carlos Lelkes-Rarugal, has designed some short animated videos using recordings from the British Library Sound Archive and images from the Ghosts & Ghoulish Scenes, British Library Flickr. See these on the UK Web Archive, Digital Scholarship and the Sound Archive’s Wildlife Department Twitter accounts.

This and other sounds can be experienced in the Sound Archive at the British Library which has over 260,000 wildlife sound recordings from all over the world. You can hear a selection of some of these recordings on the British Library, Sound & Vision blog, the latest blog post Going Batty for Halloween, gives an overview of the history of bats and Halloween. 

The Digital Scholarship’s latest blog post, Mind Your Paws and Claws, encourages you to use these images and sounds for various creative projects. The Ghosts & Ghoulish Scenes Flickr Album was previously used in the Gothic Off the Map competition

 

Get involved with preserving the UK web

The UK Web Archive aims to archive, preserve and give access to the historic UK web space. We endeavour to include important aspects of British culture and events that shape society. 

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

We have a Festivals collection, but are there any local Halloween or 5th of November events near you that haven’t been added yet? Equally, if these events have now been cancelled, we would like to add some of these online cancellation notifications to our collection Coronavirus (COVID-19) UK. Browse through what we have so far and please nominate more content!

 

19 October 2020

Exploring media events with Shine

By Caio Mello, Doctoral Researcher at the School of Advanced Study, University of London

Computer screen with some HTML code on the screen

This blogpost is a summary of the presentation I delivered with my colleague Daniela Major in the conference Engaging with Web Archives: ‘Opportunities, Challenges and Potentialities’ in September 2020. This presentation is entitled ‘Tracking and analysing media events through web archives’.

My research explores the media coverage of the Olympic Games in a cross-cultural, cross-lingual and temporal perspective. I am especially interested in comparing how the concept of 'Olympic legacy' has been approached by the Brazilian and British media considering different locations, languages and social-political contexts. I have written a bit about this before on the UK Web Archive blog in December 2019 and March 2020.

Because of its controversial nature, the term Olympic legacy is used in a variety of contexts and it has multiple meanings. Considering its narrative importance to legitimize the billionaire investment of cities to host these events, this study has as the main objective to explore and define the concept of Olympic Legacy and how it changes over time.

Here however, I will be focusing on my experience doing a secondment at the British Library with the UK Web Archive team. I have explored the potential of using the platform Shine to track news articles on Olympic legacy.

Why Shine?

Shine is a tool to explore .uk websites archived by the Internet Archive between 1996 and April 2013. While a big part of the content of the UK Web Archive can only be accessed from inside the British Library, Shine is open access and provides us with search results and URL data that can be easier to manage.

We have developed a pipeline based on 5 steps: searching, extraction, cleaning, filtering and visualisation. To extract information, we have conducted web scraping of the data using Python notebooks looking at specific newspapers (like The Guardian) and broadcast websites (like BBC) using the keyword “Olympic legacy”. Having searched for URL’s in Shine and extracted the results, the main challenge is cleaning. After extracting just the body text of the articles, we saw that many of them did not mention Olympic legacy. Usually, Shine provides results where the words searched appear in peripheral locations of the webpage. Cleaning consists of removing all the information around the main text, such as images, adverts, menus and links. With the documents we needed in hand, we had to verify if their content is relevant or not to our analysis. Sometimes, the term Olympic legacy appears but it is not necessarily related to Rio and London Olympics or it is not the main topic of the article. The process of filtering demanded a huge effort of close reading to identify contexts. At the end, we have produced some charts to visualise word-trends and topics that pop up around legacy. Although the Shine search results are limited in terms of time - it searched up until 2013 - it has been very useful as an exploratory tool to conduct preliminary analysis in a small-scale, and to build web archive and web scraping methods before applying my methods to huge amounts of texts elsewhere. 

You can watch Caio de Castro Mello Santos & Daniela Cotta de Azevedo Major’s presentation on the EWA YouTube Channel.

*This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. For more information: cleopatra-project.eu.

 

14 October 2020

Engaging with Web Archives - Conference Report

By Jason Webber, Web Archive Engagement Manager, The British Library

 

Engaging with Web Archives conference banner

 

Is it possible to have a successful conference when you can no longer meet in person? Going exclusively online doesn’t seem to have stopped the ‘Engaging with Web Archives’ (EWA) Conference from being a superb experience. Co-Chairs of the event are Sharon Healy and Michael Kurzmeier, PhD students at Maynooth University.

Originally planned as a more traditional, in person, conference in April 2020 the EWA team re-planned for a completely online event on 21and 22 September 2020. It is notable that this was the first web archiving conference in Ireland. Most talks were pre-recorded which meant that questions could be posed in the chat box and were often answered live by the presenter during the talk. This can be a significant advantage of pre-recorded talks.

The programme was packed with high quality presentations from many areas of web archiving but here I’ll highlight a few that were UK Web Archive (UKWA) projects or used UKWA data. 

 

Highlights

 

A Keynote talk was delivered by Professor Jane Winters, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Web archives as sites of collaboration. Jane has worked with the UK Web Archive extensively over many years and is one of only a few Professors in the UK training and promoting web archives to students. Jane's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Sara Day Thomson (University of Edinburgh) Developing a Web Archiving Strategy for the Covid-19 Collecting Initiative at the University of Edinburgh. Sara formerly worked for the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) led a ‘Web Archiving Task Force’ and more recently has been building important collections on Covid-19 with the University of Edinburgh in partnership with UKWA. Sara's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Dr. Brendan Power (The Library of Trinity College Dublin): Leveraging the UK Web Archive in an Irish context: Challenges and Opportunities. With Trinity College Dublin being a UK Legal Deposit Library we try and work together as much as possible and this talk highlights what is possible with specific mention of the Easter Rising collection. Brendan's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Robert McNicol (Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library): The UK Web Archive and Wimbledon: A Winning Combination. We try to represent as many aspects of UK life as possible including sport. This also highlights our cooperation with other libraries and archives. See the Tennis collection. Robert's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Dr. Peter Webster (Independent Scholar, Historian and Consultant): Digital archaeology in the web of links: reconstructing a late-90s web sphere. Peter has conducted several pieces of research utilising the UKWA secondary datasets. These are free and available for download. Peter's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Helena Byrne (Curator of web Archiving, British Library): From the sidelines to the archived web: What are the most annoying football phrases in the UK? Helena is a curator in the UK Web Archive but also has a keen interest in sport and women’s football in particular. Here, Helena shows how the Trends feature (graphs) in our SHINE service can help guide research in an easy and accessible way. Helena's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Caio de Castro Mello Santos & Daniela Cotta de Azevedo Major (School of Advanced Study, University of London): Tracking and Analysing Media Events through Web Archives. Caio was a Phd student placement with UKWA as part of the Cleopatra project. Read about some of his work on this blog on Olympic legacy. Caio and Daniella's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Hannah Connell (King’s College London; British Library): Curating culturally themed collections online: The Russia in the UK Special Collection, UK Web Archive. Hannah has worked extensively collecting one of the several diaspora community collections. In addition to Russia in the UK, there is London French and Latin America UK. Hannah's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Dr. Jessica Ogden (University of Southampton) & Emily Maemura (University of Toronto): A tale of two web archives: Challenges of engaging web archival infrastructures for research. Jessica has also worked previously with UKWA as a Phd placement on the challenges of researchers using web archives. This vital work helps guide our planning for the future. Jessica and Emily's talk (link to YouTube).

 

Dr. Olga Holownia (International Internet Preservation Consortium): IIPC: training, research, and outreach activities. Olga works full time for the IIPC but has been based within the UK Web Archive team at the British Library. We have been delighted to have worked with and been supported by the IIPC since it began (The British Library is a founding member).

 

Rosita Murchan (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland): PRONI Web Archive: A Collaborative Approach. PRONI maintains their own web archive but also collaborates with the UK Web Archive in collecting material specific to Northern Ireland. This is important as there currently is no Legal Deposit partner in Northern Ireland. Rosita’s talk (link to YouTube).

 

Summary

Whilst it is a shame not to meet people in person this conference has shown me how online conferences can be a viable way forward. I’m very much looking forward to the next one.

 

See all of the pre-recorded talks on the EWA conference Youtube Channel. You can find the Engaging with Web Archives on Twitter and catch up on the conference discussion with the hashtag #EWAvirtual

 

Look out for more in-depth blog posts from EWA conference speakers over the coming weeks on the UK Web Archive blog.

 

30 September 2020

National Sporting Heritage Day 2020

By Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives at the British Library

women playing soccer with a linesman in the foreground
Women playing soccer

 

The 30th September is National Sporting Heritage Day in the UK and to celebrate we will give you a quick overview of the UK Web Archive (UKWA) sporting activities in 2020. UKWA is made up of the six UK Legal Deposit Libraries, these are the British Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Dublin Library.  

Sport is a subject that shapes and reflects society. As more publications about sport move to online only, preserving this cultural record through web archiving becomes paramount. To mark the occasion back in 2018 we published a blog post outlining the UKWA sports collection policies. 

We have three collections that focus on sport that are actively curated throughout the year:

  1. Sports Collection
  2. Sport: Football 
  3. Sports: International Events

 

International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC)

As individual institutions the British Library and the National Library of Scotland are members of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) and worked on building collaborative collections covering international events such as the Summer and Winter Olympic/Paralympic Games. 2020 marks ten years of building IIPC Olympic/Paralympic web archive collections.  Since the formation of the IIPC Content Development Group (CDG) in 2015, there has been a consolidated effort to build collections both on and off the playing field. All of the IIPC collections are open access. The CDG planned to build a collection on the Tokyo 2020 Games. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the Games were rescheduled for 2021 and so was CDG dedicated collection. However, some content around the 2020 event was included in the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) collection and there will be updates made to the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees collection this year.  

 

Documenting the Olympics and Paralympics

Even though Tokyo 2020 was postponed until 2021, the symposium Documenting the Olympics & Paralympics, which was supposed to be a full day face-to-face event, went online. This was a collaboration between the web archive team based at the British Library, the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) at De Montfort University, and the British Society of Sports History (BSSH).

A broad mix of physical, digitised and born digital resources were covered in the presentations. You can listen back to an audio recording of this symposium on the Sport in History Podcast. The full abstracts and some of the PowerPoint slides are available on the British Library Research Repository.

 

Engaging with Web Archives Conference

The Engaging with Web Archives conference brought together practitioners and web archive researchers from around the world. There were three presentations on the programme that focused on UK Web Archive sports collections. 

  1. Robert McNicol (Librarian, Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library) discussed the collaboration on developing the Tennis section of the UK Web Archive Sports Collection. 
  2. Helena Byrne (Curator of Web Archives, British Library) looked at tracing the popularity of annoying football phrases on the archived .uk web space from 1996-2013. 
  3. Caio de Castro Mello Santos & Daniela Cotta de Azevedo Major (PhD students, School of Advanced Study, University of London) used the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a case study to analyse media events through the UK Web Archive. 

A series of blog posts about the Engaging with Web Archives conference will be coming out in the next few weeks on the UK Web Archive blog.

 

Accessing the UK Web Archive

Under the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations 2013, we can archive UK published websites but are only able to make the archived version available to people outside the Legal Deposit Libraries Reading Rooms, if the website owner has given permission. 

 

Some of the websites  in UKWA that have already had permission granted, include Heritage Quay, Pride Sports UK and WheelPower. Some examples of websites that are onsite-only access include the Fans Supporting Food Banks, Barnsley Yorkshire: Tour de France and The Women's Open.

 

As the content of UKWA has mixed access, the message ‘Viewable only on Library premises’ will appear under the title of the website if you need to visit a Legal Deposit Library to view the content. If there is no message underneath then the archived version of the website should be available on your personal device.

 

Get involved with preserving sports online with the UK Web Archive

We can’t curate the whole of the UK web on our own, we need your help to ensure that information, discussion and creative output related to sport are preserved for future generations. Anyone can suggest UK published websites to be included in the UK Web Archive by filling in our nominations form: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/nominate 

 

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