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The National Library of Wales is the memory of the nation. Traditionally it has collected, preserved and provided access to a wide variety of formats such as books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts and archives, maps, paintings, drawings and prints, photographs, sound and moving images. During the decade electronic media have accounted for an increasing percentage of the material that the Library receives, and we now face the enormous challenge of how to preserve and protect the digital memory of Wales. With this in view, the Library drew up its first Digital Preservation Policy and Strategy in 2008 and since renewed the policy in 2012.

As a result of the huge increase in Internet use over the last decade or so, more and more material is appearing on the World Wide Web, with some 'publications' only appearing in virtual form and often for a finite period of time. It is imperative therefore that we take steps today to ensure that we will be able to see and access these web sites in years to come. The Web Archive Wales project has been established to evaluate the best ways of creating and maintaining an archive of Web materials of Welsh interest and providing access to these sites.

Web Archive Wales project

The project commenced in June 2003 and is still active at present and for the foreseeable future. The Library is also working with partners such as the British Library, JISC and the Wellcome Foundation, on a UK Web archiving project.

Project aims

  • To select and capture Web sites for preservation and generate an online collection for public access.

Some project objectives

  • To select Web sites of Welsh interest
  • To describe these Web sites according to appropriate standards
  • To create metadata for long-term preservation purposes
  • To develop work flow processes
  • To evaluate Web-capturing software
  • To collaborate with other UK web archive organisations
  • To collaborate and co-operate with individuals and organisations active in the field of digital preservation

For more information about Web Archive Wales email

Useful links

Web archiving

  • Internet Archive A digital library of Internet sites dating back to October 1996.

Digital preservation

  • The National Library of Wales's digital preservation policy and strategy
  • Digital Preservation Coalition A coalition set up in 2001 to secure the preservation of digital resources in the UK and to work with others internationally to secure our global digital memory and knowledge base.
  • RLG and Preservation: Long-term Retention of Digital Research Materials. The RLG's initiative on digital preservation.