Announcing the COVID-19 Web Archiving Special Campaign

April 14th, 2020

by the Archive-It team

In response to a dramatic increase in institutions contacting us about building, or wanting to build, web archive collections that document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Archive-It is offering significant cost-sharing for use of our subscription web archiving services, for new or existing partners interested in building COVID-19 web collections. Archive-It is used by over 600 libraries, memory organizations, nonprofits, and others to preserve and provide perpetual access to the archived web. We want to do everything we can to enable existing and new users to preserve the web-published records of this historical event. We have also created this brief one-page description of this special campaign.

Our current global moment reminds us of the central role of the web as a historical record and communication platform, if an ephemeral and fast changing one, and has presented those of us responsible for archiving web-published materials an opportunity to expand our collecting activities to document the pandemic’s wrenching changes upon our institutions, communities, neighborhoods, and lives.

Example web captures from the COVID-19 collections curated by (clockwise from top-left): the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, the National Library of Medicine, the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), and Williams College.

Beyond our own collaboration with an international group of libraries and research institutions on a global-scale Novel Coronavirus web collection, a great many Archive-It partners have already started building local or topical COVID-19 collections, from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library to the National Library of Medicine. A quick search of COVID-19 reveals dozens of related web collections that can be filtered down and explored. Partners are blogging about their collecting (University of Ottawa) and accepting local public nominations (D.C. Public Library). At the time of writing, more than 110 Archive-It web archiving partners, representing a range of institutional sizes, types, and missions, have archived many terabytes of COVID-19 web materials from more than 20,000 websites, news sources, and social media platforms.

Archive-It is offering cost-sharing from 40%-70% for data budget increases or new institutional subscriptions for those wanting to build web archive collections related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For institutions or projects with extreme financial uncertainty, we will work with you to find a way we can support your COVID-19 web archiving plans. We expect this cost-sharing offer to remain in place as long as the pandemic continues. Institutions new to web archiving can begin here and existing Archive-It partners can request more data via this form. Please also share our campaign one-pager broadly and feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to working together to document this significant moment in history.