Library of Congress

Web Archiving

The Library of Congress > Web Archiving
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collage of websites

The Library of Congress preserves and provides enduring access to the nation's cultural artifacts. This includes digital materials such as websites.

History of Web Archiving at the Library of Congress

In 2000, the Library of Congress established a pilot project to collect and preserve websites. A multidisciplinary team of Library staff studied methods to evaluate, select, collect, catalog, provide access to, and preserve these materials for future generations of researchers.

The Library has developed thematic web and event-based archives on such topics as the United States National Elections, the Iraq War, and the events of September 11.

In July 2003, the Library and the national libraries of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the British Library (UK), and the Internet Archive (USA) acknowledged the importance of international collaboration for preserving Internet content for future generations and formed the International Internet Preservation Consortium (external link). The goals of the Consortium include collecting a rich body of Internet content from around the world and fostering the development and use of common tools, techniques and standards that enable the creation of international archives.

In 2004, the Library's Office of Strategic Initiatives created a Web Archiving Team to support the goal of managing and sustaining at-risk digital content. The team is charged with building a Library-wide understanding and technical infrastructure for capturing web content. The team, in collaboration with a variety of Library staff, and national and international partners, is identifying policy issues, establishing best practices and building tools to collect and preserve web content.