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Web 25

Histories from the First 25 Years of the World Wide Web


Edited By Niels Brügger

Web 25: Histories from the First 25 Years of the World Wide Web celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Web. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Web has played an important role in the development of the Internet as well as in the development of most societies at large, from its early grey and blue webpages introducing the hyperlink for a wider public, to today’s multifacted uses of the Web as an integrated part of our daily lives.

This is the first book to look back at 25 years of Web evolution, and it tells some of the histories about how the Web was born and has developed. It takes the reader on an exciting time travel journey to learn more about the prehistory of the hyperlink, the birth of the Web, the spread of the early Web, and the Web’s introduction to the general public in mainstream media. Furthermore, case studies of blogs, literature, and traditional media going online are presented alongside methodological reflections on how the past Web can be studied, as well as accounts of how one of the most important source types of our time is provided, namely the archived Web.

Web 25: Histories from the First 25 Years of the World Wide Web is a must-read
for anyone interested in how our online present has been shaped by the past.

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Chapter Thirteen: Looking back, looking forward: 10 years of development to collect, preserve, and access the Danish web (Ditte Laursen / Per Møldrup-Dalum)


chapter thirteen

Looking back, looking forward

10 years of development to collect, preserve, and access the Danish web

Ditte Laursen and Per Møldrup-Dalum


In 2005, a new legal deposit law was passed in Denmark, and archiving the Danish web became mandatory. The intention of the law was to collect data on the entire publicly available Danish part of the internet, using three different yet complementary collection strategies: broad crawls three to four times per year, selective daily crawls of frequently updated websites, and event crawls (Andersen, 2006; Schostag & Fønss-Jørgensen, 2012). With this law, Denmark became one of the first countries in the world that mandated legal deposit of dynamic web materials.

In this chapter, we look back on 10 years of archiving the Danish web. We ask: How can a web archive be understood and how can its development over time be studied? More specifically, we investigate the archive and the archive’s development over the last 10 years from three perspectives: legal, technical, and curational. Based on data and behind-the-scenes stories from the Danish web archive, we demonstrate how the three perspectives frame how web archives develop over time and will continue to develop. We contend that a web archive’s history is pertinent to all users of the archive and that all three perspectives are relevant for a web archive’s history. Since a web archive is an altered mirror of the history of...

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