WEB ARCHIVING SERVICES AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

CILIP Government Information Group
NOTES FROM A WEBINAR – BY CLARE BROWN


Webinar: “Web archiving services at the National Archives” (Wednesday 3 February 2021)

Speaker: Tom Storrar – Web Archiving Service Owner at The National Archives

Chair: Fiona Laing (currently Chair of SCOOP – Standing Committee on Official Publication)

Do you remember when we used to pay educational visits to physical archives? These events were always a privilege; to go behind the scenes and breathe in the organisational magic of rolling stacks and special storage units. When I read that Tom Storrar, Web Archiving Service Owner at The National Archives (TNA), was presenting a webinar, I immediately signed up and was excited to join CILIP GIG colleagues online.

We weren’t disappointed. Tom and his colleagues (7 full-time and one part-time) have the important role of officially preserving the UK government’s online material. Technology has often run ahead of government, which has left researchers stranded. The issue of missing or inaccessible online government information has caused problems in the past, and was raised in parliament, for instance in 2006 and 2009:

👉 Digital Documents Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure the long-term preservation of documents held in digital form.

Ms Harman: The National Archives is working with the Government’s Chief Technical Officers (CTO) Council to address the problem of the survival of electronic records with a mid and long-term value across Government. The National Archives has implemented a Digital Preservation Programme to ensure the long-term preservation of documents held in digital form. It has established a Digital Archive facility, in which it preserves a wide range of electronic records transferred by Government departments;

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