IIPC Training Session: Beginners 2 (Slides)


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  • Create Date 14/02/2020
  • Last Updated 13/07/2021

Session 2: What are Web Archives? 

The purpose of this module is to explain what web archives are and what purpose they serve. These are particularly important questions since they underlie the development of any web archiving programme. Both the characteristics and formats of the captured web objects need to be considered to understand web archives. The presentation focuses on four categories of web content: 1) business and government records, 2) heritage and special collections, 3) research and academic web content and 4) artworks and interactive content. Quick Start suggestions for tools or approaches to get started are included. 

More information can be found on the training homepage. 

Learning Objectives / Motivations

Attendees will:

  • Be able to understand the main purpose of web archiving
  • Be familiar with web archiving ‘first steps’

Target Audience

This module is aimed at practitioners who wish to discover what web archives are and what types of web content might be relevant to collect based on the particular purpose(s) of a specific web archiving programme. 

The beginner course in general aims to provide a complete beginner’s level training course in web archiving. There are no prerequisites for understanding beyond a general familiarity with archives, libraries or information management, meaning that the course is suitable for absolute beginners. The course is divided into eight different sessions that each focus on one specific topic. By the end of the course, participants will have learnt why archiving the web is important, what web archives are, what the main concepts and technologies are, who the users are and what their needs are, how to identify risks and benefits, what the main approaches to web archiving are, how to write a web archiving policy and how to make the case for web archiving.

How to Use and Customize These Materials

Several of the training sessions contain discussion questions which can be removed for brevity if needed. Likewise, there are many case study slides which could potentially be removed, or, more likely, changed for examples relevant to the context in which the training is being delivered. The risk management exercise this session contains a scenario based on a community archive, this might also be replaced if something more relevant to your context.

Speaker Notes

Downloadable version

Tools, References, and Related Resources

Links to recommended tools, any references mentioned in slides to link to, additional resources.


Created by the IIPC Training Working Group and the Digital Preservation Coalition.