This is the single largest collection in the Library, numbering millions of UK websites, many of which are no longer “live” or have changed completely. Its contents reflect the many ways in which we communicate online, from political debate at general elections to the comparative merits of local cafes. Since 2013, the Library has taken an annual ‘snapshot’ of the vast UK web domain, so that researchers in our reading rooms can study this unique resource. It is supplemented by a rights-cleared collection, which has websites going back to 2004, and can be accessed online.
A good example of how the UK Web Archive represents contemporary British life is the following website:
One and Other was a live artwork by sculptor Antony Gormley which took place over 100 days during the summer of 2009. 2,400 people occupied the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square for 60 minutes each. The One and Other archived website captures details from those 100 days including live video recordings of those who took part, with additional comments by visitors to the website. The artwork itself attracted much publicity, and many of those participating took the opportunity to comment on current events of the time, or issues that were important to them personally.