The British Library have announced their latest plan to capture the digital universe, capturing the entire UK web domain from April 6th, which will allow six major libraries to “collect, preserve and provide long term access to the increasing proportion of the nation’s cultural and intellectual output that appears in digital form” according to the company, this will include anything from blogs to e-books.
The scheme is in collaboration with the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Library Dublin, all of which will have the right to receive a copy of every UK electronic publication, in order to ensure websites can be preserved forever and made available to future generations of researchers.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said: “Legal deposit arrangements remain vitally important. Preserving and maintaining a record of everything that has been published provides a priceless resource for the researchers of today and the future. So it’s right that these long-standing arrangements have now been brought up to date for the 21st century, covering the UK’s digital publications for the first time. The Joint Committee on Legal Deposit has worked very successfully in creating practical policies and processes so that digital content can now be effectively archived and our academic and literary heritage preserved, in whatever form it takes.”
These websites will be offered via on-site reading room facilities within the legal deposit libraries, and will be available to researchers by the end of the year.