Monday 26 January 2009

Websites 'must be saved for history'

An interesting article in the Observer this weekend discussing the issue of saving websites and Internet sources for future historians. The British Library's Lynne Brindley argues that the deletion of websites and the failure to archive digital material, including personal digital photographs, could result in gaps in the national memory.

"With an interim report from communications minister Lord Carter on the future of digital Britain imminent, Brindley makes the case for the British Library as the repository that will ensure emails and websites are preserved as reliably as manuscripts and books. "This vision of a digital Britain must include the critical public service of preserving digital Britain's collective memory and digitising the unrivalled content within the British Library."

The library plans to create a comprehensive archive of such "notoriously ephemeral" material from the UK web domain - there are about eight million .uk domain websites, growing at a rate of 15-20% every year. It also has a collecting and archiving project for the London 2012 Olympics."