Web archiving is the preservation of websites for later. The KB preserves websites in the web collection – permanently and forever. A web collection is a collection of websites that are kept in the library. This way, we can see what the digital culture of the past looked like. The web archiving team selects and preserves websites. The team also creates special web collections with current themes. Read more about this expertise of the KB and visit the Web Archive (only within the KB reading rooms).
The web archiving team saves as much as possible of a website. We prefer to save everything that can be seen on a screen: text and images, but also the layout. For this purpose, the team uses a special computer program, which the KB developed together with the National Library of New Zealand. The team also makes collections of websites with a special subject, such as corona, climate change or old homepages. In this way, people can write our history later. Even without books.
One day, the team really wants to save all websites of the Netherlands. That is not allowed now. That is why the team is already practising with all Frisian websites. The KB also wants to save online news and social media. That is interesting for later, as a glimpse into our time.
Why keep it?
In the past, people went to libraries to learn from books what the old days were like. Now you find a lot of information on websites. You can also learn a lot about the present from those. The KB preserves websites so that you can learn more about a particular era.
Content of the web collection
The KB now stores 21,750 websites. That seems a lot. But there are 10 million websites in the Netherlands. The KB has many special web collections, for instance about blogs, corona en old homepages.