National Library begins collecting websites that tell the story of COVID-19 web archiving
The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has today announced that it is collecting websites that tell the story of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. Websites that will be archived include those that capture the major efforts across Government, the health sector, and Irish society to combat the pandemic.
Commenting, Director of the NLI, Dr Sandra Collins said: “The National Library collects all printed material published in Ireland. This means we will have all the newspapers, books and magazines published during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that we will keep them safe and accessible for everyone. As so much of the contemporary record is digital, we are also collecting the websites that tell the story of this moment in Irish life.
“Building this digital COVID-19 collection will ensure that the Irish story of this global pandemic and the efforts of Irish people to combat the coronavirus are collected and preserved for future generations. It’s estimated that, on average, a website is changed or deleted within 100 days. If we don’t archive these websites now, much of their contents will be lost forever.”
As part of its work to collect COVID-19 related web content, the NLI is also considering ways to capture how individuals have been affected by, and responded to, the pandemic. “Anybody can help us collect the websites that they think represent the Irish experience and actions taken during this pandemic. We invite all those who would like to nominate a website to fill in a short form, which can be found on our website, and email it to us at email@example.com,” added Dr Collins.
Working with an expert technology partner, the NLI has been selectively archiving relevant Irish or Irish interest websites and social media accounts since 2007. Since 2011, the NLI has also carried out selective web crawls for major Irish events such as elections and referendums, as well as a range of other topics. Archiving is carried out on a notification basis, which means website owners are notified of the NLI’s archiving work in advance. Websites archived since 2011 are openly available and can be browsed and searched via: https://archive-it.org/home/nli.