May 18, 2022

New Report: “Web Archiving at National Libraries Findings of Stakeholders’ Consultation by the Internet Archive”

2016-05-26_17-10-09The report, Web Archiving at National Libraries Findings of Stakeholders’ Consultation by the Internet Archive was recently published and made available online.

A summary blog post by the author of the report, Helen Hockx-Yu (Director of Global Web Services, Internet Archive, is also available.

From the Summary:

The main findings of the consultation are summarized below, which give an overview of the current practices of web archiving at national libraries, as well as a general impression of the progress in web archiving and specific feedback on Internet Archive’s role and services.

  • Strategy and organization
    Web archiving has become increasingly important in national libraries’ strategy. Many have wanted to own the activity and develop the capability in-house. This requires integration of web archives with the library other collections and the traditional library practice for collection development. Budget cuts and lack of resources were observed at many national libraries, making it difficult to sustain the ongoing development of tools for web archiving.
  • Quality and comprehensiveness of collection
    There is a general frustration about the content gaps in the web archives. National libraries also have strong desires to collect the portion of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other social media which is considered as part of their respective national domain. They would also like to leverage web archiving as a complementary collecting tool for digital objects on the web and that are included in web archives such as eBooks, eJournals, music and maps.
  • Access and research use
    National web archives are, in general, poorly used due to access restrictions. Many national libraries wish to support research use of their web archives, by engaging with researchers to understand requirements and eventually embedding web archive collections into the research process.
  • Reflection on 20 years of web archiving
    While there is recognition of the progress in web archiving, there is also a general feeling that the community is stuck with a certain way of doing things without making any significant technological progress in the last ten years, and being outpaced by the fast evolving web.
  • Perception and expectation of Internet Archive’s services
    Aspects of Internet Archive’s currently services are unknown or misperceived. Stakeholders wish for services that are complementary to what national libraries undertake locally and help them put in place better web archives. There is a strong expectation for the Internet Archive to lead the ongoing collaborative development of (especially) Heritrix and the Wayback software. A number of national libraries have expressed the need for a service supporting the use of key software including maintenance, support and new features. There are also clearly expressed interests in services that can help libraries collect advanced content such as social media and embedded videos.

Read the Complete Blog Post

Direct to Full Text Report (19 pages; PDF)

Note: The report is available in several formats in addition to PDF.

See Also: Final Report: Harvard Library’s Environmental Scan of Web Archiving (March 29, 2016)

From the Appendix of the Report

List of Stakeholders Consulted:

National Libraries

  • National Library of New Zealand – Steve Knight
  • National Library of Australia – Paul Koerbin
  • National Library of Spain – Mar Perez
  • British Library – Andy Jackson, Richard Price, Jude England
  • National and University Library of Iceland – Kristinn Sigurðsson
  • Royal Library of Denmark – Birgit Nordsmark Henriksen
  • National Library of Finland – Esa-Pekka Keskitalo
  • National Library of Italy – Paola Puglisi
  • National Library of Estonia – Jaanus Kõuts
  • National Library of Singapore – Kenny Chan
  • National Library of France – Gildas Illien and Emmanuelle Berme
  • Institut National de L’audiovisuel – Claude Mussou and Thomas Drugeon
  • National Library of Japan – Masaki Shibata
  • National Library of Germany – Tobias Steinke
  • National Library of Austria – Michaela Mayr
  • National Library of Ireland – Joanna Finegan, Della Murphy and Geraldine Wilson
  • Portuguese Web Archive – Daniel Gomes
  • Library of Congress – Abbie Grotke

(National) Archives

  • UK National Archives – John Sheridan and Tom Storrar
  • UK Parliamentary Archive – Chris Fryer

National Organisations / Consortia

  • Dutch Digital Preservation Coalition – Marcel Ras
  • Digital Curation Centre UK – Kevin Ashley


  • Jane Winters, Professor of Digital History and Head of Publications, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
  • Ian Milligan, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo

Independent Consultants

  • Darryl Mead, previously Deputy Librarian of the National Library of Scotland
  • Peter Webster, previously Web Archiving Engagement Manager of the British Library and Programme and Communications Officer of the IIPC
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.