British Library Wants To Archive Majority Of UK Websites

The British Library has warned the UK government that the country's web heritage will soon be lost if appropriate measures are not taken to archive Britain's web sites.

The institution has asked the government to grant it the 'Right to Archive' which will allow it to archive a website, along with its content, without asking their owners for permission.

The British Library along with several other British institutions have been supporting the UK Web Archive initiative which is aimed at archiving UK websites.

As of now, the Web archive comprises of 8000 websites developed and running in UK. However, the British Library believes that the UK Web Archive needs a massive boost if it aims to archive all the UK's websites.

Interestingly, the total count of websites in UK is estimated to be around eight million, with most of them having a life expectancy of 75 days and according to a research while10 per cent of all British websites shut down or are replaced after every six months.

Commenting on the proposed legal measures to ensure unhindered website archiving, British Library Chief Executive, Dame Lynne Brindley said in a statement that "limited by the existing legal position, at the current rate it will be feasible to collect just one per cent of all free UK websites by 2011."

Our Comments

To some extent, Archive.org is already doing a stunning job having already archived a few million websites (or at least webpages) out there. The British Library could also possibly partner with Google or Microsoft, both of which already index pages extensively and cache them.

Related Links

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