Case Study

University of Westminster

The capability to archive and capture a single snapshot of a published website is a huge step forward for us. It has been a challenge historically as we have not had the resource or capabilities to do this in a standardised service provision. Once we’ve added the URL to the MirrorWeb system it instantly crawls and stores in the cloud without the need for intervention.

Dr Elaine Penn, Head of University Records & Archives, University of Westminster

The challenge

Safeguarding culturally and legislatively important data

Like most university archives, the University of Westminster was feeling the exponential pressures of digital transformation against a backdrop of a general lack of physical resource and limited budget. The University was looking to evolve their digital archiving capabilities for high fidelity capture and replay of web and social media content, ensure retention of culturally and historically important information, and meet regulatory requirements such as Freedom of Information legislation.

Records and Archives Service

The University of Westminster’s Records and Archives service collects, preserves and provides access to records created by staff and students of the University and its predecessors. It acts as the central point of information about the university’s history, managing their records in accordance with legislative requirements and best practice for students, staff and the wider community. 

Web & Social Media Records

Since May 2016, University Records and Archives has implemented a Digital Preservation Strategy to enable the University to successfully manage its digital records including websites and social media platforms. The University’s rationale for ensuring the proactive management of digital records is to support reputational protection and regulatory and legal compliance; to provide access to users and to support online learning; and for the continuation of institutional memory.

Best Practice in Archives & Records Management

The University has developed procedures, in line with best practice and standards in archives and records management, that follow the Open Archival Information System reference model; and continues to work across the University to advise best practice in the creation and management of digital records.

The solution

MirrorWeb x Arkivum

MirrorWeb worked with our partner Arkivum, current providers of digital preservation services to the University of Westminster, to create a hybrid end-to-end digital archiving solution. The comprehensive and user friendly solution allows for large datasets to be crawled with high fidelity replay at minimal cost and automates the WARC files created via an API into Arkivum's Perpetua software, offering a comprehensive solution with everything preserved in one location. This process takes place without any added cost or any need for physical intervention from the archive team at the University.

The result

Complete content confidence

The University of Westminster are now able to capture and replay their main URL and social media accounts with minimal intervention, confident that the MirrorWeb solution will be accessible 24x7x365. The MirrorWeb platform not only provides the archives team peace of mind that content is being captured, but also provides an array of logs and reports for researchers to interrogate to see how the University of Westminster's digital presence is evolving.

Every website is captured, archived and replayable

The MirrorWeb Platform now archives all of the content across the University. Using our cloud tech each individual archived file ensures data sovereignty and provides an immutable record of all digital communications.

Compliance confidence delivered

All website records are now held in a timestamped, source proof format (known as an ISO28500, WARC file) and signed with a SHA1 digital signature to prove authenticity. Plus, with MirrorWeb's ISO 90001 and ISO27001 accreditations, the client has full assurances that their data is stored securely and efficiently.

Costs driven down & quality archives assured

With the MirrorWeb Platform, the entire process is automated and with rapid support from MirrorWeb's in-house QA team, the firm was able to drive down resource costs across the business whilst ensuring content preservation and regulatory requirements are met.

Supports eDiscovery and legal operations

With MirrorWeb, our customer now has the ability to create policies and groups that support existing eDiscovery operations - all through a fully searchable platform where they can control, export and interrogate data quickly and easily. Access can also easily be provided to third-parties, such as regulators or intermediaries, ensuring you're in total control of your archives.