Welsh Government to preserve its digital history

The Welsh Government has kickstarted an initiative to preserve its digital history, social media accounts and website content for generations to come.

It’s awarded a three-year contract to Manchester-based technology company MirrorWeb to create an online archive of key government accounts and websites.

Over the coming months, the cloud-native web and social media archiving firm will preserve both English and Welsh content and domains, including llyw.cymru/gov.wales.

Websites of historic and national significance will also be added to the archive, along with Twitter accounts such as @WelshGovernment, @LlywodraethCym and @FMWales.

MirrorWeb has developed a range of robust, scalable cloud-based archiving and monitoring tools designed for organisations in the private and public sectors. With them, users can index billions of documents at speed and create archives that are user-friendly and searchable.

Currently, the project is in the early stages, but MirrorWeb has already gone through the Welsh Government’s current historical archive. It consists of 1.8 million pages and 20TB of data.

The firm’s archiving experts have transferred these pages to a cloud-based proprietary platform. It works by crawling through sites and social media channels, harvesting the most up-to-date data and publishing it online.

As well as working in Wales, MirrorWeb is also completing a similar project for the UK Government, which approached the firm to capture and transfer 120TB of web content within two weeks.

Philip Clegg, chief technical Officer at MirrorWeb, said: “We’re proud to be preserving a future-proof digital record of the Welsh Government’s online activity.

“Our website and social media archiving and monitoring platform is built on the cloud and provides the essential infrastructure and capacity to meet the size and complexity of the Welsh Government’s archive.

“This will modernise how the content is captured and stored, and provide the Welsh Government with a reliable, comprehensive and intuitive search service of Wales’ digital history.”