Last night the British Library hosted the launch the UK Web Archive. Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library, attended on behalf of the Library. The archive is an important tool in the preservation of the UK’s online heritage. The Wellcome Library has collected web based material for inclusion in the Archive since archiving began in 2005.
At the launch the Wellcome Library’s contribution to the archive was publicly acknowledged. The success of the archive depends on the specialist expertise that different partners can bring to bear on the selection process, and in this regard the Wellcome Library is second to none.
The Library has contributed a range of websites to the archive, those of organisations as well as individuals. Some of the material is unique, such as the ‘Personal Experiences of Illness’ collection. In these websites individuals describe in very personal, terms their experiences with illnesses such as cancer. This offers a different, very individual perspective on illness, one seldom seen in the professional literature.
The archive is free to view and has already collected over 6,000 selected websites since it was set up in mid-2005.