Last week the Dutch Digital Heritage Network launched a new product: the national registry of web archives in the Netherlands. This collaborative work gives an overview of the websites that are harvested ánd preserved in the Netherlands by a variety of organizations. Not only the KB as national library is collecting web sites, based on the mandate we have (we see websites as “publications”) but many other Dutch organisations are harvesting websites: from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, to the National Archive and many more. Together we want to save the Dutch web and we want to inform each other about what each of us is doing.
The new registry is a kind of “Keepers Registry ” for the Dutch web archiving. Everyone can see which web sites an institution is harvesting and since when, how often the web site is crawled, with which software and for what reason (for example because of legal mandate or from a collection point of view). Most of the websites can only be viewed on site for legal reasons, but there are exceptions and the access regime is part of the information given. If possible there is also a link to the current live website.
One of the reasons to start this initiative was to avoid duplication of effort. It still might be the case that two organizations are harvesting the same website, but from now on this is intentionally. For example because they have a different perspective (legal mandate versus collection building) or are harvesting it in a different way. We already know of smaller organisations that will not invest in harvesting websites that could be a potential enrichment to their collection, because they are happy to know from the register that another Dutch organisation takes the long term responsibility for it.
Currently we are contacting Internet Archive to discuss whether we could incorporate the Dutch websites in their collection in this registry as well.