UK Government Web Archive receives billionth hit
The UK Government Web Archive has received more than a billion hits since it was launched by The National Archives in 2003 and is now one of the most-visited websites in government.
This week, the re-designed archive goes live at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/webarchive/ in a more accessible and easier to navigate format. It is a portal that provides access to more than a billion pages drawn from around 2,000 government websites dating back to 1997.
It comprises a complete digital record of the government's web presence, from announcements and press notices to briefings, web chats, speeches, statements and e-petitions. Themed collections include the government's approach to major events such as the Olympic Games, the 2010 General Election and the Japanese Earthquake in March 2011.
Avoiding risk of 'black hole for researchers of the future'
Oliver Morley, Chief Executive and Keeper, The National Archives, said: 'In the digital age, government chooses to communicate its messages to the public through the web. Without the UK Government Web Archive, there is a risk these important records would disappear completely, leaving a black hole for researchers of the future. The billion pages of digital material in the archive are an important part of our country's historical and cultural inheritance and deserving of the same respect we show paper records.'
Since it began, the UK Government Web archive has grown rapidly and now regularly crawls up to a 1,000 websites. It is growing at a rate of one terabyte (1,000GB) a month and is 40 terabytes in total - around eight times the size of the English-language Wikipedia. It has around three million unique monthly users.
The National Archives also works to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness by ensuring information remains accessible after power has changed hands. Visitors clicking on old links are automatically re-directed to the correct page in the UK Government Web Archive. In April 2011 alone there were 50 million re-directs to the web archive from other government sites.