a continuously accessible safe haven / sanctuary to the websites which the BBC is proposing to take offline

History I've just sent the following email ...

To: The British Library
From: Me

Hello,

You may have heard that the BBC is the scale back the size of its website and part of the process includes the deletion or offline backing up of many websites that are still technically useful in an academic sense but no longer fit within the corporations remit. Here are some relevant links from the BBC's internet blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/01/putting_quality_first_halving.html

Some are connected with programmes no longer on air, some like the Collective, are old communities filled with content which offer a cultural snapshot, and some, like the BBC Cult site (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/) are an invaluable look backwards. Martin Belam also points out that an important element of online history will also be lost, rather stridently as you can tell from the URL:

http://www.currybet.net/cbet_blog/2011/01/vandalism-of-bbc-online-history.php

The British Library has been gracious enough to offer to host a copy of my blog and many other websites for posterity. I was wondering if any thought had been put into offering a continuously accessible safe haven / sanctuary to the websites which the BBC is proposing to take offline.

Take care,

Stuart Ian Burns

Update! I've had a reply which British Library Web Archiving have been kind enough to let me post:

Hi Stuart,

Thank you for raising this point with us. You are right that we are particularly in the business of preserving vulnerable websites, so we are very interested in these developments. We are currently talking with the BBC about resources in general and we believe they will have a plan to deal with their own archiving of these sites. In fact, in your first link, they explain 'we had to decide how best to manage the legacy content' - admittedly their solutions for core material from some older sites are offline. We work closely with the BBC, so we have an understanding of their archiving procedures. Where appropriate, subject to resources, licence and technical capability, we hope to be able to archive some of the BBC content.

I was also interested in your email as my job is to determine website selection policy for the BL in the UK domain, irrespective of permissions and technical issues. It is useful to read what you consider of value which seems to be along the same lines as much of our selection.

In short, I hope you can understand that we cannot archive these sites at this time but I'm sure the core content will be looked after by the BBC. Thank you for taking the time to describe the value of these sites, which I'll take note of.

Best Wishes,

British Library Web Archiving.

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