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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 25, 2010

WHO'S ARCHIVING THE WEB?

BBC - The UK's online heritage could be lost forever if the government does not grant a "right to archive", a group of leading libraries has said.

The British Library, along with other institutions, has been archiving UK websites since 2004 but has only been able to cover 6,000 of an estimated 8m.

Currently, it must ask permission from website owners before archiving them.

The group, which has just made its UK Web Archive available to the public, warned of "a digital black hole".

"We've got the know-how but we need the rules to say we don't need to ask permission," said a spokesman for the British Library.

"We're archiving for the nation rather than commercial gain."...

The British Library said research showed that the average life expectancy of a website was just 44 to 75 days, and suggested that at least 10% of all UK websites were either lost or replaced by new material every six months.

Several other countries - including Australia, New Zealand, Finland and Portugal - have already have started to archive their national web material.

Other informal projects - such as the WayBack Machine - also exist.


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