We are always looking for new and better ways to make the content of the UK Government Web Archive accessible. One of the most innovative and exciting developments in this area is Memento, which was developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory in the USA.
Memento aims to add a time dimension to the web, by allowing users access to a specific web resource (for example, a web page, a document, or data) now, and at some point in the past, by using web archives. It harnesses an important principle of the web: the Unique Resource Identifier (URI). URIs identify specific resources on the web and, as the web archive preserves the original URI and ‘knows’ when that resource was captured, it can ‘slice’ into the web archive to show it to the user. Continue reading »
While the vast majority of content in the UK Government Web Archive is presented in English and Welsh, there is a substantial amount in other languages. This post offers a brief introduction to the variety of other language content in the collection. As yesterday was The European Day of Languages, this post seems quite timely.
Presenting content in multiple languages means that content creators can engage with both wider and more specific audiences. The necessity to produce such content online is as varied as in non-digital formats. The aims can range from improved community engagement through dissemination of information to celebrations of the diversity of cultures in the UK; from fire safety advice to recruiting intelligence officers.
British Council website from 2006, in Chinese
TS – Have you ever wondered what happened to those departments that suddenly disappeared years ago? Or perhaps you are trying to find out which department does what Department ‘X’ used to do?
'Foreign Affairs' Visualisation
We have produced the first of a series of visual representations of how government departments change over time to help you access our records and sate your curiosity.
Why is this necessary? Well, The National Archives looks after government departments’ historical records and provides access to them. Departments are created and abolished, and their functions transfer frequently between them. Many of these changes take place at seemingly random points.
Users of our records often need to have an understanding of what changes take place, when, in order to find what they want. We aim to produce accurate representations of this specialist knowledge online.
This information exists in Discovery and colleagues here at The National Archives have unique insights into this specialist area. We hope that visualising this in both a striking and accurate way will open up access to this knowledge still further.
Last year, we gathered data about changes to departments since 1997 to support our Semantic Knowledge Base project. Displaying this graphically is a whole different challenge.
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The UK Government Web Archive is one of the world’s largest and most used. Not only do we take regular snapshots of websites to guard against contemporary government information being permanently lost, we also use the collection to help our colleagues across government in their efforts to keep historical information truly accessible through the principle of Web Continuity.
Central to this is having an effective and consistent method for capturing this content.
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