1916 Easter Rising Web Archiving Project

The Library of Trinity College Dublin has launched a new Web Archiving initiative to coincide with the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The Easter Rising 1916 Web Archive sees the Library working in collaboration with the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and the British Library to archive websites from both the Irish and UK web domains as they reflect on the Easter Rising 1916.

With the support of the British Library, the Library of Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin and the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford are working in collaboration to select and build a collection of web-sites from both the Irish and UK web domains that reflect how the Easter Rising is represented on the Web in 2016. The Easter Rising 1916 Web Archive will ensure their preservation and ongoing public availability.

The Bodleian Library is archiving UK websites under legislation that empowers the UK legal deposit libraries to collect and preserve digital content in addition to print publications.  As no similar legislation exists in Ireland, the Irish websites are being collected by the Library of Trinity College Dublin on a voluntary basis with the permission of website owners. The collection will be available online to the public as a special collection in the UK Web Archive and the UK websites will be held in perpetuity by the British Library in its Legal Deposit Web Archive. We will continue to add more websites throughout the Easter Rising centenary year and the full collection will become available in 2017. The project highlights the growing ‘digital black hole’ in the Irish national record as websites by their nature are transient and there is as yet no legislation to permit the collection, preservation, and curation of Ireland’s digital heritage.

The launch of the web archive collection complements displays in the Long Room of the Library of Trinity College Dublin and in the Proscholium, Oxford, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, using both libraries’ extensive collections of archives and printed materials.

The exhibition entitled Changed Utterly: recording and reflecting on the Rising 1916 –2016 will run from 1st March to late April 2016.

The web archive collection is available to view online and we hope that you follow the progress of the web archive as it develops throughout the year:

Commenting on the launch of the exhibition and web archive collection online exhibition Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, said:

What is a nation without a memory of its past? The Internet has created a sea-change in knowledge sharing, but has also created new challenges. How can we ensure the vast amount of cultural content on the internet doesn’t disappear? This web-archiving project illustrates how legal deposit libraries working in collaboration can ensure this ‘at risk’ content can be captured and so survive for future generations.

The exhibition and web archiving project are part of the Library’s contribution to the Trinity College Dublin Decade of Commemoration.