Archiving your blog or website at The British Library
As out-of-the-blue messages go, the email I received last week from The British Library, requesting permission to archive my poetry site, And Other Poems, was one of the most unexpected:
Dear Sir/MadamThe British Library would like to archive your website in the UK Web Archive. The UK Web Archive was established in 2004 to capture and archive websites from the UK domain, responding to the challenge of a ‘digital black hole’ in the nation’s memory. It contains specially selected websites that represent different aspects of online life in the UK.
Hours and years of endeavour saved for posterity
Beyond the here and now
“The purpose of the UK Web Archive is to collect, preserve and give permanent access to key UK websites for future generations.”
What kinds of sites are archived?
Since April 2013, according to information on their own website, The British Library has been “archiving millions of websites obtained through (their) annual archiving of the entire UK domain. This was “enabled by the non-print legal deposit regulations introduced by the government.” This archive requires no permission from site owners but the UK Web Archive does require owners’ permission – hence the email sent to me – and perhaps this particular archive may be of interest to you if you are a blogger with a UK address.
It’s a huge task to find and archive sites which “represent different aspects of online life in the UK.” What kinds of subjects to they want? Here’s an extract from their own website:
Contributors to the UK Web Archive select websites according to their own collection development policies and areas of expertise. Selected websites are considered to be of long-term research value, either in themselves or as part of a Special Collection of themed materials. Typically, archived websites publish research, reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK, or demonstrate web innovation. They are chosen to represent a range of social, political, cultural, religious, scientific or economic activities.
Is what you’re blogging about worth keeping?
It’s likely that if you’re writing about an aspect of life which interests you and your followers, it will also be of interest to a wider audience and to future generations. As stated, the archivists want sites which “reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK.” So how can you go about letting The British Library know about your blog?
Nominating a site
I don’t know who nominated And Other Poems, perhaps an archivist found the site themselves (many a poetry lover can be found in a library!) perhaps a contributor or reader nominated it – I’m grateful to whoever it was! – but there are certainly many sites which it would be a shame not to save and make available for a wider readership, now and in the future. Why not get in touch with The British Library yourself, either to let them know about a site or to nominate your own?
“Members of the public, including website owners themselves, are welcome to nominate a website for the archive.”
Meanwhile, keep writing and blogging. Someone in the future is waiting to read your post.
p.s. And, yes, I did nominate this site, and yes, The British Library wanted to archive this one, too. Nice to know they’re not averse to the odd rabbit pic.
8 thoughts on “Someone in the future is waiting for your post”
How wonderful! I’m delighted for you.
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Oh thanks, Lesley! It was a delightful surprise but there an awful lot of websites there, you know, it’s not as impressive as it might sound (or as it first sounded to me!) x
What excellent news — congratulations 🙂
Thanks very much, Polly 🙂
How wonderful, congrats! I can imagine an alien landing on Earth several millenia hence and coming across the British Library’s digital archive. It would think us a poetic species, once it had learnt English.
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[…] for my own poems has grown into an online anthology of over 350 poems by more than 250 poets, archived at The British Library and viewed more than 120,000 […]
“SOMEONE IN THE FUTURE IS WAITING FOR YOUR POST”
I just loved how you put it, I think it highlights the non temporality of information very well.
There are wonderful services like archive.org and archive.is that also archive your site and sites in general. I hope you don’t mind of me archiving this page as well.
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