The National Library collects and preserves the Luxembourg web as part of our digital heritage
A common misconception is that the contents of the Internet will stay available for eternity. In reality, 80 % of all websites will no longer be available in the same form, or have completely disappeared within a year. Moreover 10 % of all social media contents are lost every year, showing that the web is not only changing at a rapid pace, but is also short-lived.
A unique source of information
The web is a unique source of information.
With the growing emphasis on digitalization in all aspects of society, more and more information is solely published online, making its distribution and accessibility faster and easier. On the other hand, the lack of physical copies of publications accentuates the dangers of data loss. Relevant information, discussions and data that are not printed or preserved in any other shape or form could be lost, depriving future generations of the sources of knowledge available to us today.
The reflection of a diverse society
From its conception, the Internet has always been centered around a culture of exchange, communication and an open, participatory approach to making information available to everyone. The convenience of using and contributing content on the web, as well as more recent developments such as social media, are adding to the concept of the Internet as an all-encompassing universe, reflecting all facets of society and cultures in the world. All the more reason to preserve a piece of this universe, by archiving the Luxembourg web – not only to ensure the availability of websites, but also to provide a means of analyzing the importance and influence of society on the Internet and vice versa.
The National Library of Luxembourg is open to all, presenting its patrimonial collections on a national and international level. Empowering scientific research and facilitating the access to information, the National Library is a pillar of the knowledge society. As a patrimonial library, the BnL collects, preserves and catalogues all publications issued in Luxembourg, as well as foreign publications in relation with the Grand-Duchy. The National Library aims to drive innovation in new technologies and library management as an academic and scientific library. This assignment not only covers printed media, but also digital publications of all kind, including the Luxembourg web.
As a component of the digital legal deposit, harvesting the web ensures the long term access to the contents of the Internet which are publicly available. Overall, the LWA operates in an inclusive, rather than exclusive collection policy, in the sense that the legal deposit applies to Luxembourg publishers, which the BnL interprets as:
– All sites from the “.lu” top level domain (TLD)
– Sites published in Luxembourg (by citizens and residents)
In some instances, the LWA also harvests websites published abroad, created by Luxembourgers or in relation with the Grand-Duchy, in the interest of preserving the national digital heritage.
As it is the case for all national web archives, this mandate does not translate to an obligation of completeness, due to the extent and feasibility of these tasks. The legal deposit for paper obliges publishers to hand in their publications to the National Library. In the case of websites, the obligation for publishers is fulfilled if the BnL is able to access and harvest their websites.
Participate and contribute
Saving websites from being lost is not only a service to the general public but a service to site owners in the first place. If you have a website or create a new one, let us know about it. If you see a website you think should be saved for the future, tell us aboutit. Suggestions, questions comments on special collections, topics, data, or any other subject, we are all ears!