National Archives
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Web continuity named runner up at Digital Preservation Awards

The National Archives' web continuity service was named as one of the runners-up in this year's Digital Preservation Awards at a ceremony at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The top prize went to the Memento Project to integrate current and past versions of the web, sponsored by the US Library of Congress and developed by Old Dominion University and the Los Alamos National Lab.

The prestigious award, which is supported by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and the Institute for Conservation, was won by The National Archives in 2004 and 2007.

This year, the web continuity service was recognised for its outstanding contribution to digital preservation, particularly the hard work that went in before and after the general election to ensure that no government web pages were lost as a result of a change in government.

The web continuity service

The National Archives launched its web continuity service in December 2008 as a solution to the problem of broken URL links on government websites.

Redirection software enables users who click on a link that is no longer live to be automatically taken to the page held in The National Archives' UK Government Web Archive. The archive, which contains more than a billion pages of archived web pages going back to 1997, regularly captures and preserves thousands of government websites which would otherwise be lost.

To date, 17 central government websites have implemented the redirection solution and between October 2009 and October 2010, over 472 million users were redirected to information in the web archive, instead of receiving a 'page not found error' message.

'Raises the profile'

Amanda Spencer, Head of Web Continuity, said: 'It was great to be short-listed for the award. I think it is raises the profile of the valuable work that we are doing, both to ensure users of government websites can continue to access the information they require, and to ensure the long-term preservation of the evidence base for researchers of the future'.

William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition, said: 'The judges were really very impressed with the work of the web continuity project from The National Archives, in particular the way that it meshed current content with archival holdings.'

Find more information on the Digital Preservation Awards.

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