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British Library

British Library and others to archive all UK web content


By John Glenday, Reporter

April 5, 2013 | 2 min read

The British Library, in conjunction with five other repositories have announced that they are to commence construction of a database of all UK tweets, status updates and blogs.

Together with the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales,the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, the University Library, Cambridge and Library of Trinity College, Dublin (each of which has the legal right to archive web content) the institutions will collate a billion pages a year from over 4.8m websites.

In addition to new media content from the likes of Mumsnet and UFO bulletin boards more traditional material such as magazines, books and academic journals will also be collected in the haul.

The bid to keep tabs on what goes on online has been prompted by a growing awareness of the loss of data with huge amounts of important research material vanishing from the web and more ephemeral public comment and feedback posted in the wake of important events such as the 7/7 bombings.

Ben Sanderson from the British Library said: “It will be impossible to tell for instance the story of the 2015 general election without accessing what appears on the web".

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