Skip to Main Content

Web Archiving @ UBC Library

Web archiving @ UBC Library

The University of British Columbia Library has been archiving freely available web content for preservation and access since 2013. The goal of our web archiving service is to ensure web content that contributes to the University’s research, teaching, and learning is preserved and accessible over time.

The Library uses Archive-it software from the Internet Archive to support the collection of online information that is in danger of disappearing, in order to ensure its long-term preservation and access. This includes:

  1. Preserving UBC web content that documents the online presence of the institution
  2. Building thematic collections around topics of interest such as COVID-19, local elections, and extreme weather events
  3. Archiving relevant web content such as faculty research project websites, upon request

This LibGuide is meant to introduce the web archiving activities through the University of British Columbia Library, and to highlight the web collections that are being archived through this service. Our archived web collections can be found on the UBC Library's Archive-It page

Why archive the web?

404 error message with image of a confused panda in front of a computerContent is increasingly published online only, and this born-digital information is ephemeral. Websites can be taken down, URLs change, and the content of a website itself may change or be removed; an October 2023 Pew Research study found that a quarter of all webpages that existed between 2013 and 2023 are no longer accessible.

It is becoming critically important to document information and web pages that may no longer exist or are constantly being updated. Web archiving can ensure that a website remains accessible after it is changed or is no longer available on the live web, allowing the information and experience of a website to be available for future generations.