Long-term preservation of websites - Publicare


Long-term preservation of websites

Long-term preservation of websites

The aim of web preservation is to keep web content accessible for future generations, even if it is not available via your website anymore.
A central service, offered by the Publications Office, has been set up to take care of the whole preservation process. All EU institutions, agencies and bodies benefit from this service.

More and more EU information is only made available on the web. Web content has a short life-span and web technology evolves quickly. As a consequence, this information is at risk of getting lost, e.g. when websites are taken offline. Losing the information would mean that we would fail to provide the public with long-term access to our content and that we create a gap in the digital memory of the EU institutions.

In principle, all websites of the EU institutions, agencies and bodies are preserved. Most of these are hosted on the europa.eu domain and subdomains and are archived on a regular basis. The focus is to collect and preserve the main content of the websites and to allow similar navigation as it was on the live website. The earliest content present in the EU web archive dates back to end 2013.

For the moment, we don‘t archive the following:

  • Links to external websites. When archived sites contain links to an external website you will be redirected to the live website. E.g. if you find a link to the United Nations website (https://www.un.org/) on an archived version of the Europol website, you will be directed to the live version of the UN site.
  • Dynamic content.
  • Social media.
  • Databases. This means that searches will not work, neither will links based on search queries.
  • Password-protected sites
  • Streaming and downloadable media
  • Specific content excluded by the webmasters (e.g. robot.txt)

The main websites of the EU institutions, agencies and bodies are by default archived at least four times a year.

In case the name of your Institution or Agency does not appear in the list of archived websites your website is not included in the preservation exercise yet. To be added, send your request by e-mail to OP web preservation.

In addition, if you intend to take a website offline or change it substantially, the website could be selected as candidate for “ad hoc” or punctual archiving. For example, we can archive pages created for certain events.

In principle, only requests to archive websites in the europa.eu domain or subdomains will be accepted. For websites or pages outside the europa.eu domain, the requester should duly justify:

  • the long-term value of the content justifies its preservation
  • it has significant long-term political, legal, information, use, research, social, cultural, historical, or artistic value
  • the content aligns with the values, mission and mandate of the EU institutions
  • how the EU institution’s stakeholders and/or the public in general will be affected if this digital heritage is not preserved

The archive is fully open to the public. You can consult it here .