Digital Preservation: Submitting Your Website to the UK Web Archive

About This Document

This document describes how to submit a UK website to the British Library’s UK Web Archive (UKWA) service.

Archiving Websites

A document on “Digital Preservation: Using the WayBack Machine” describes how websites can be automatically archived on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Another website archiving service which may be useful is the British Library’s UK Web Archive service. Unlike the Wayback Machine a website owner needs to manually submit details of their website in order for it to be archived. This document describes the process for doing this.

The British Library’s UK Web Archive

The British Library hosts the UK Web Archive, which aims to “collect all UK websites at least once per year”. However this service is not as easy to use as the Internet Archive. However to see an example of its use in the moris community you can access a copy of the Copperfield Clog‘s website from 2013 as shown below:

Figure 1: Archived page from the Copperfield Clog‘s website

However if you visit the Links page and try to follow links to other teams you will often get the message “Available in Legal Deposit Library Reading Rooms only”.  Unfortunately it appears that access to significant numbers of archived websites is restricted to computers located in British Library offices.

Despite this, it is probably worth submitting your website’s URL using the “Save a UK Website” interface, as this should only take a few minutes to complete.

Submitting Your Website

The UKWA service can archive websites:

  1. That are on a .uk or other UK geographic top-level domain such as .scot or .cymru.
  2. That are published in the UK.

The service does not archive:

  1. Online Sound or Video platforms, in which audio-visual material is the predominant content.
  2. Private Intranets and emails.
  3. Personal data in social networking sites or websites only available to restricted groups.

If you wish to submit your website for archiving you should visit the “Save a UK Website” and complete the form, which is illustrated below.

Figure 2: Form to submit a website for archiving

After submission and verification you should receive email acknowledgment such as the following:

Dear Sir/Madam,

The British Library would like to archive your website in the UK Web Archive and to make it publicly available. The UK Web Archive was established in 2004 to capture and archive websites from the UK domain and across the web, responding to the challenge of a digital black hole in the nations memory. It contains specially selected websites that represent different aspects of UK heritage on the web, as well as important global events.  We work closely with leading international institutions to collect and permanently preserve the web, and the open UK Web Archive can be seen at http://www.webarchive.org.uk/.

If you are happy for your site to be archived and made publicly available, please complete the online licence form https://www.webarchive.org.uk/act/ukwa/licenseform/xxxx that will permit us to proceed.  Archiving is free and does not normally require any effort on your part. If there are any other of your sites which you would like to be considered for archiving, you are most welcome to nominate them at www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/nominate.
Information about copyright and how your archived website will be made available can be found in our FAQs at www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/faq Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Status of this Document

Document created: 2 Aug 2021

Licence for this Document

This document is available with a Creative Commons Sharealike (CC-BY) licence. In brief, this means you can copy and make changes to this document provided you give acknowledgements to the author/publisher. A suggested wording for acknowledgements is:

This document is based on the “Digital Preservation: Submitting Your Website to the UK Web Archive” document by Brian Kelly, Comms and IT volunteer with the Morris Federation.

About the Author

Brian Kelly joined the Newcastle Kingsmen in 1978 and for many years was a prize-winning Betty for them. He has also danced with Sallyport Sword Dancers and Northgate Rapper as well as the now-defunct Green Ginger Morris, Phoenix Sword and Black Cap sides. He is currently a dancer with Haymarket Rapper and Wyld Morris.

Brian help set up a website for the University of Leeds in January 1993 – one of the first 100 websites in the world. During most of his professional career he was a national web adviser to UK Universities.


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