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"MirrorWeb has brought some outstanding technical capabilities"

The National Archives

Learn all about The National Archives Digital Director John Sheridan's experience archiving web and social media with MirrorWeb.

Problem

The National Archives (TNA) is the archive of the UK Government, and also the sector lead for archives across the UK. It preserves 1,000 years of British history, a big part of which includes the digital record of government today.

The way in which governments use the web has changed, with the launch of the gov.uk website and the increasing use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. In 2017, The National Archives wanted to capture as good a record as possible of the government’s entire web usage.

Solution

Two key differentiators in our favor were the ability to provide highly effective search across the whole of the web archive, and our cloud computing expertise. This led to TNA awarding MirrorWeb the contract for web and social media archiving, and our first step was to collect and move the archive from the previous supplier. This data was stored on 72 2TB hard drives, which meant we required two custom-built machines to connect the drives simultaneously and ingest the data.

Result

The data ingest was accomplished within two weeks. MirrorWeb’s capabilities have given TNA, for the first time, the ability to index the whole of their web archive, which has also significantly helped them improve searchability for users. A whole raft of digital content was able to be indexed by the search facility, and offers users the ability to narrow their search to a particular site that was archived.

TNA notes that MirrorWeb has brought outstanding technical capabilities and value for money over the course of their relationship.

“We’re always looking to explore new ways of harvesting more content in different ways. We’re really excited about how MirrorWeb keep on innovating”

John Sheridan, Digital Director

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