Official websites to be archived for future generations

Written by Jenni Davidson on 20 November 2017 in News

National Records of Scotland is to preserve snapshots of key public websites

Scottish Parliament website - Image credit: Scottish Parliament

National Records of Scotland (NRS) is to begin archiving key public websites to make them available for future generations of researchers.

Like documents, websites contain information that could be of use to historians of the future, but unlike archived documents, when information changes websites may be updated and the information lost altogether.

However, a new NRS web continuity service aims to tackle this problem by storing snapshots of the online information of key public organisations that already deposit archive information with NRS.


These include the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, Scottish courts, public inquiries and other public and private organisations.

The Scottish Parliament has already started using the service.

Scottish Parliament information manager Gordon Hobbs added: “The web archive is helping us to think differently about our online presence, and how our users can access the information they need, be this current or historic.”

National Records of Scotland is working with a commercial supplier, Internet Memory Research, to operate the free service.

It will capture information in the public domain by regularly crawling websites after agreeing the correct handling of any sensitive information and intellectual property rights with their owners.

As well as helping future researchers, NRS says it should also reduce the number of broken links on live websites where information has been archived.

Tim Ellis, chief executive of NRS and keeper of the records of Scotland, said: “In an era of ‘fake news’ where the authenticity of information is scrutinised and challenged, the Web Continuity Service will allow users to access accurate historical information, and make it clear when they are reading archived content.

“This new service allows us to preserve information for the future and keep it available now to the people who need it, supporting open and transparent government.”




Related Articles

Start me up: Scotland’s growing tech hub
4 July 2019

Scots living in Silicon Valley want to return home but are afraid that there aren’t the opportunities here to warrant moving back

National Cyber Security Centre urges WhatsApp users to update their phones after a security attack
14 May 2019

The NCSC warned that “it’s important to apply these updates quickly, to make it as hard as possible for attackers to get in”

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Balancing security and digital transformation
24 October 2018

With the annual worldwide cost of cybercrime set to double from $3tn in 2015 to $6tn by 2021, BT offers advice on how chief information security officers can better...

Associate feature: Who keeps your organisation secure?
19 February 2018

BT's Amy Lemberger argues that having the right security in place to protect your organisation is no longer just an option. It is a necessity.

Share this page