Journal article Open Access

How can we improve our web collection? An evaluation of webarchiving at the KB National Library of the Netherlands (2007-2017)

Sierman, Barbara; Teszelszky, Kees

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the Dutch National Library (KB-NL), started in 2007 the project “web archiving” based on a selection of Dutch websites. The initial selection of 1,000 websites has currently grown into over 12,000 selected web sites, crawled on different intervals. Although due to legal restrictions the current use is limited to the KB-NL reading room, it is important that the KB-NL includes the requirements of the (future) users in her approach of creating a web collection. With respect to the long term preservation of the collection, we also need to incorporate the requirements for long term archiving in our approach, as described in the Open Archival Information Model (OAIS)1.
This article describes the results of a research project on web archiving and the web collection of archived sites in the KB-NL, investigating the following questions. What is web archiving in the Netherlands? What are the selection criteria of KB-NL and how are these related to what can be found on the Dutch web by the contemporary user? What is the influence of the choice of tools we use to harvest on the final archived website? Do we know enough of the value of the web collection and the potential usage of it by researchers and how can we improve this value? This article will describe the outcomes of the research, the conclusions and advice that can be drawn from it and will hopefully inspire broader discussions about the essence of creating web collections for long term preservation as part of cultural heritage.

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