Tuesday, 16 February 2016

UK Historical Web Archive

The British Library now have a collection online with over 3.5 billion items (urls, images and other documents) that has been full-text indexed by the UK Web Archive. Every word of every website in the collection can be searched for and analysed.

This historical search prototype now spans the period from 1996 to the 6th April 2013, and contains 3,520,628,647 distinct records. -- and is still not and never will be comprehensive.

On the Search page, you can enter search terms and get the results back as a list of pages, presenting more detailed information per page. The result set may be a VERY large number of webpages (possibly millions) and they are NOT ordered by relevance which you may expect with a search engine such as Google. You can narrow down the search by specifying ‘content type’, ‘year of capture’, domain and even Post Code amongst others.

Give it a try with the name of your favourite British genealogist, organization of location. As the results are not ordered by relevance expect to find yourself wading through a lot of miscellaneous material. There was the occasional gem to add historical perspective -- an article on genetic genealogy testing from before the days of autosomal tests.

Start from www.webarchive.org.uk/shine or the UK Wen Archive blog post here.

Warning! This is a research prototype for a web archive search service, and may be taken down at any time

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