Karolina Holub, Inge Rudomino, National and University Library in Zagreb
Janko Klasinc, National and University Library of Slovenia
Dragana Milunović, National Library of Serbia
Tamara Horvat Klemen, Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society

Past, present and future of web archiving in Southeast Europe: experiences of Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia

Since the mid-1990s, World Wide Web occupies our lives and society and influences it immensely. It is self-evident that in the last 25 years web has defined and shaped our global digital history and became priceless resource that needs to be preserved. Almost right from the start, first major international initiatives were launched, with the aim to collect and preserve digital media, including the content on the web, for future generations. By now, numerous countries consider web archiving to be their core mission and obligation and their institutions and organisations collect, preserve and make accessible information from the web.

This panel will take a closer look at the countries in Southeast Europe and different initiatives related to web archiving. Several countries in this region started to archive the web in mid-2000s. With national libraries having the leading role, and based on national legislation, couple of countries started to build their web archives.

The panel will present different stages in web archiving in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. It will also discuss different approaches in workflows – diverse types of tools, quality assurance, organisational, financial and legal issues.

Web archiving in Slovenia began with a government funded research project that was carried out by the National and University Library (NUK) and the Jožef Stefan Institute between 2002 and 2004. After the legal framework for web archiving was established, in 2006 NUK began with selective and thematic harvesting of Slovenian websites in 2008. Access to archived content was enabled in 2011. Since 2014, NUK is also performing top national domain crawls biannually.

In Croatia, based on legal provisions, the National and University Library in Zagreb in collaboration with the University Computing Centre of the University of Zagreb established the Croatian Web Archive (HAW) in 2004, and started to collect, archive and give access to Croatian web resources. First the selective harvestings were conducted, and from 2011 thematic harvestings and annual harvesting of the top-level domain (.hr) are performed.

In addition to harvestings conducted by the National and University Library in Zagreb, the Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society is harvesting public authorities’ web resources since 2004. Srce created „Archive of the Web Documents” and the Office has gathered the online resources providing contents for the “Digital Archive of the Web Resources of the Republic of Croatia”.

In January 2015, the experimental harvesting of the academic community (R. Serbia * .ac.rs) domain started in the National Library of Serbia, which was repeated twice again (June 2015 and September 2017). In addition, some domains that were known to be extinguished were also collected (Radio Srbija, Borba, E-novine…). For the spring of 2019, it is planned to collect the first thematic collection, which will contain news portals with an emphasis on local media.

Panel: Web archiving in Southeast Europe