The web has revolutionized our access to information. Documents and publications that were once difficult to find are now readily available to anyone. Government agencies, non-profit organizations and other critical sources now have an inexpensive means for distributing information to the public. When important social and political events take place, we can see the public reaction unfold via blogs and personal web sites, and have an unprecedented view into popular culture and the debates that shape public policy. All of these materials will serve as valuable resources for researchers for years to come.
But ready access to these publications cannot be taken for granted. When sites are redesigned, when new administrations take office, or when organizations shut down, we witness the wholesale disappearance of information.
As scholars increasingly rely on web citations, it becomes difficult or impossible to verify a scholar's sources. Studies of web citations are showing that up to half of the citations in scholarly journal articles can cease to function within four years. Even if a web citation still returns a page, there is no guarantee that you are looking at the same content the author cited.
The California Digital Library provides the Web Archiving Service so that subject specialists can begin to address these challenges. Our partner institutions have built these archives to provide lasting access to web publications
The list ot the right shows all publicly available archives in alphabetical order. Each web archive consists of a number of captured web sites on a topic, and allows you to see how these websites appeared in the past. Mouse over an archive name to see a brief description and statistics about each archive. Click on an archive name to enter the archive.
Once you select an archive, you can search the full text of captured web pages or documents, and browse a list of sites included in the archive. You can also get further information about the scope and purpose of each web archive. Your searches can be targeted to a particular web site or narrowed by document type (such as PDF or video). Further search help is available within each archive.
You can also choose the Partners menu to see a list of libraries and other organizations that provide these web archives. Click on a partner name to see the archives created there.
When you display a document from the archive, you can navigate across versions of that document over time. You can also get an archival URL to create persistent links to the specific version of a web document you're citing.