Creating Local Portals to Web Archive Collections

May 3rd, 2016

by the Archive-It Team

As most partners know, Archive-It’s website provides access to partner institutions’ public web archive collections. This allows organizations of all sizes to point users to a ready-made portal to their web archives. Less well known is that Archive-It also supports personalized portals within our partners’ institutional web domains. Together, the two options support the overall goal for partners to be able to offer both global and local access points to their collections.

These locally hosted portals can be quite sophisticated (and beautiful!), like the portals designed by Columbia University and Princeton Theological Seminary. Other partners,  like the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC), have experimented with including their web archives in their overall library discovery layer . Creating this integration may seem like a lot of work, but it needn’t be! In fact, all partners can do it using just a tiny snippet of HTML code.

Emory University Web Archive Portal

Emory University’s institutional portal to its web archives

Here’s how it works.

Anyone, anywhere can use the same search functionality that Archive-It uses to add a search box that retrieves metadata and full-text results, either from a single collection or from across an entire account. Simply embed an HTML form into a webpage of choice and the search box will appear. In its simplest form, the code is designed to return results from a single collection and looks like this:

<form action=”“>
<input type=”text” name=”q”/>
<input type=”hidden” name=”show” value=”ArchivedPages”/>
<input type=”submit” name=”go” value=”Go” />

Copy and paste the above, swap out the “COLLECTIONID” text with the collection’s ID number, and you’ve got a search bar! Switch out the collection URL in the code above with an organization’s account page URL and it will search across all of those collections as well.

Maryland State Government Website Archive

Maryland State Government Website Archive

From here, the options get more advanced. With a few additions to the above code, partners can provide a filters on their results’ file types (HTML, PDF, Word document, etc.), limit the number of results that appear from each site archived in a collection, or even limit them to one specific site. All of the code needed to do so can be copied straight out of Archive-It’s Help Center guide: How to provide access to your web archives from your own domain.

Partners have already taken advantage of these simple resources  to design many portals to their Archive-It collections that reflect and reside within their institutional web domains. These portals empower patrons to discover web archive content on their myriad personalized paths.

More examples of partner institutional web archive portals are featured below.  We are excited to see a proliferation of access points and are working to build out other Archive-It features that will enable similar integrations between Archive-It and local catalogs and systems. If you’ve designed your own access portal to your organization’s web archives and it isn’t featured here, let us know so we can feature it!

UT Austin

University of Texas at Austin Human Rights Documentation Initiative

Library of Virginia

Library of Virginia Archival Web Collections

University of Alberta

University of Alberta Archive-It Collections

Tri-College Portal

Tri-College, Peace, & Quaker Web Archives

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University of Texas at Austin Latin American Government Documents Archive

North Carolina State Government

North Carolina State Government Web Site Archives

Tennessee Govnerment Web Archive

Tennessee State Government Websites


Texas Records and Information Locator (TRAIL)

University of Melbourne

Web Archiving @ the University of Melbourne

Education Scotland

Learning and Teaching Scotland Archive

Bodlein Libraries

Bodleian Libraries’ Web Archive

Washington & Lee School of Law

Washington and Lee University Law School Website Archive

University of Innsbruck

University of Innsbruck Author Homepages

Michigan State University

Michigan State University Web Archives

UT San Antonio

University of Texas at San Antonio Web Collections

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Web Archiving Project for the Pacific Islands

NIH Web Archive portal

National Institutes of Health Web Archives