Well, well, what do we have here? Apparently, a major archive of British websites is now live and kicking, but it has yet to be online. This particular project can be accessed only in person assuming you plant your backside in one of the British Isles’ six biggest libraries, where there will be corresponding terminals in those libraries to help you out. This particular effort is made possible after 10 years of legal wrangling between the British Library and publishers. No thanks to the restrictions which were imposed by the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003, this translates to the fact that the archive can only be accessed as long as you are physically in library reading rooms.
The British Library, however, offers a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel, touting that there has been some “discussions into the possibility that the Act might be changed in future so that the archived copies of websites might be made available via the web. Making archived copies of material available online, and also allowing it to be indexed by search engines, could potentially affect the volume of web user traffic to the rights owner’s live website and harm their business model.” This project, first launched in April this year, will comprise of the whole UK web domain, and this includes blogs, public tweets and Facebook pages.