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Thread: Some National Website Archives

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    Default Some National Website Archives

    Website archiving
    The life-span of personal, non-commercial websites can be quite short, often only a handful of years. Good aviation and military history sites, with rich and unique content, may pass into oblivion when the site owner can no longer maintain them or in the event of host or other technical changes beyond the owner's control.

    Anyone who has gone to the effort of creating and maintaining a well-researched presentation of unique, sound content could assist future researchers by contacting their own national web archiving programme to propose their site for preservation. The International Internet Preservation Consortium offers a comprehensive summary of national programmes.
    This selective discussion, sourced from my 211 Squadron website, may perhaps be useful for reference.

    Australian national web archive

    PANDORA, part of the Australian Web Archive of the National Library of Australia and partners, is currently a selective archive of Australian websites. Webmasters and other interested parties might wish to consider the selection guidelines and make an enquiry directly.
    Preservation of my own website and future access are both assured, for the short term and the long term, with independent archive and back up sets:

    • On-line, PANDORA takes a copy of the whole 211 Squadron site once a year, on 6 August
    • The archived set of site copies, starting in May 2002, is easily found by clicking the PANDORA link on the Home page, through the National Library's Trove and on-line catalogue, directly from the PANDORA menu, or by the persistent URL for the complete archive set:
    • While the PANDORA Persistent URL reference explains how to extract related URLs for any one set, or any one page, via the Citation Service, the Trove presentation provides a choice of citation styles directly.
    • Off-line, the site is backed up monthly with multiple copies on several devices, separately stored.

    Other web archives

    New Zealand
    The National Library of NZ runs their national web archiving programme. Content is searchable through the NZNL on-line catalogue. While the archive is selective, nominations are welcomed:

    United Kingdom

    In the UK, the British Library’s UK Web Archive caters for personal sites, sites of private organisations, and the like. From April 2013, the UKWA began automatically gathering all sites under the .uk domain or published in the UK. The Archive particularly invites nominations from Webmasters (or interested parties) for UK sites with addresses that don’t use .uk in their name. Details:
    Website search:

    UKWA archived website copies can be viewed only in the UK's deposit libraries
    UK Government sites are covered by The National Archives at

    United States

    The Internet Archive offers a hands-off if imperfect alternative. Although erratically frequent and notionally global, copies may be quite incomplete (often lacking images and/or pages in whole or in part). Sites notionally protected by robots.txt files from certain crawler searches may not be copied, although not at all consistently.

    For over 20 years, any search for archived copies of a closed site was seriously hobbled by restricting search to URL address/es of the site while it did exist. By May 2018, however, at long last the search field allowed both keyword and URL search. At about this time, a number of earlier site instances simply disappeared, while for more recent instances, robots.txt protections were to all appearances wilfully ignored. The archive still does not respond well to Google search.

    Fly-by “archives”

    In recent years, private instances of so-called “archives” have begun to arise. Consisting of selective copies of other’s sites or site pages, these unauthorised content duplicators operate without the knowledge, permission or consent of original site owners and are unresponsive to enquiry or complaint.

    A deliberate large-scale breach of copyright, these unauthorised copies needlessly consume site band-width, to duplicate selected content regardless of any true, authorised, complete archival instances. In the long term, the result will be multiple incomplete copies and effectively random links to outdated content.

    Source: My current 211 Squadron RAF website Enquiries page.
    Aug 2020 archived copy:
    Last edited by Don Clark; 9th October 2020 at 13:33.
    Toujours propos

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