The amount of documents published on the Internet is growing dramatically – many of them are often changing and others are even being lost. If the documents that have a research value are not archived a considerable part of the national cultural heritage would disappear forever. The responsibility for archiving online-born documents and their registration in the national bibliography is usually assumed by national libraries and/or other deposit libraries.
The main aim of the Webarchiv project is to implement a comprehensive solution in the field of archiving of the national web, i.e. bohemical online-born documents. That includes tools and methods for collecting, archiving and preserving web resources as well as providing long-term access to them. Both large-scale automated harvesting of the entire national web and selective archiving are being carried out, including thematic „event-based“ collections. At present these methods are tested and are a subject of further research. To run all operations in a routine way, two conditions must be met: long-term funding has to be provided and the current legal issues have to be solved (primarily the legal deposit legislation).
The main focus of comprehensive crawls is to automatically harvest the biggest number of Czech web resources. The list of URLs is from organisation CZ.NIC.
Collection of resources with historical, scientific or cultural value manualy selected. Collection is accessible online due to contracts with publishers.
Topic collections are collections of resources which are related to certain event of topic, for example elections.
Strictly from a technical point of view, collecting online documents is an automated process carried out by a set of software tools that harvest, index and save data in the archive according to preassigned parameters. At present open-source software tool (Heritrix) is being used for web crawling.
Besides that, a set of criteria is being defined for selecting online-born documents in order to register them in the Czech National Bibliography. In this context, finding a suitable solution of the legal issues is considered necessary.
We have two collections of archived websites. One is available via online access. And its a limited dataset whose content is covered by agreements with its original publishers. Second collection can only be accessed in the Library.
In general, the current state of legislation in this field is not convenient. Legal Deposit Act doesn‘t cover online-born documents and according to the Copyright Act, it is not possible to make archived data available to public. Fortunately, it is possible to harvest and store online documents to protect them from disappearing forever.