Don’t worry your internet hasn’t crapped out and somehow I’m telling you this through a loaded webpage, but the British internet as we know it is now officially offline. Or at least, it’s accessible from an offline facility. This is all part of the British Library’s attempt to store the cultural history of the country through it’s websites and has now created a digital copy of every UK based website and made it accessible from a single machine inside its hallowed halls.
This is an impressive archive, as it covers billions of websites, social networking profiles and blogs, but the ironic thing is that unlike the wayback machine which provides this same sort of functionality, this archive will only be accessible in the library itself. This, as The Telegraph points out, is due to the 2003 Legal Desposit Libraries Act, which presumably limits it because of the act’s wording with regards to copying content. Viewing the site elsewhere would constitute downloading a version of it, which is essence copying and is therefore not permitted. Similarly making the archived version of a site accessible to all, could impact the sites still in operation.
However, it’s important to store these sites and messages, as otherwise when eventually a lot of them shut down, the content will be forever lost. In this instance, they will be preserved for future historians and archivists to look through if they so desire.
KitGuru Says: I imagine our ancestors will be impressed with our witty cat comments the most.