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What is the UK Web archive?

The UK Web Archive is a collection of archived UK websites created by the Legal Deposit libraries in the UK as part of our commitment to preserve web resources permanently  for future researchers. There are millions of websites with the domain .uk and they are constantly changing. Each year the Web Archive acquires:

  • 5-10 million websites
  • Over 2 billion items (pages, PDFs etc)

Some websites are archived by a British Library program which regularly crawls the web ‘harvesting’ websites. In other cases the Legal Deposit libraries actively select certain websites and organize them into subject–based collections. These can be either ongoing collections in particular subject areas or snapshots in time to capture a mood or a particular event.  The UK Web Archive currently contains collections on Brexit, the Grenfell fire, Stephen Hawking and gender equality, as well as on magic, video games and British stand-up comedy. It is a developing resource but will be increasingly useful for teaching and research.


How to view and search the archive:

The UK Web archive can be viewed at Note that most archived sites have been acquired under Legal Deposit legislation and therefore will only be viewable from designated Electronic Legal Deposit PCs in line with the rest of our Electronic Legal Deposit collection.

Searching - Use Boolean search terms - AND, NOT, OR etc. e.g. apple NOT fruit. Use quote marks when looking for a specific phrase e.g. “London Olympics”.


What is NOT included in the UK web archive:

Facebook pages and most social media (due to technical difficulties with its collection).


For more information:

Please email