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Purpose

Web archiving preserves web content for future generations and keeps it accessible to the public, even if it is not available on the original website anymore.

What is archived and when?

Regular archiving

The websites of the EU institutions, agencies and bodies are archived 4 times per year. In general, this only concerns websites hosted on the europa.eu domain and subdomains, although there are exceptions (see below).

Ad hoc archiving

If you intend to take a website offline or change it substantially, the website can be archived on an ad hoc basis at the request of the website owner.

In principle, only requests to archive websites in the europa.eu domain or subdomains will be accepted. For websites or pages outside the europa.eu domain, the requester should duly justify that:

  • the long-term value of the content justifies its preservation
  • it has significant long-term political, legal, information, use, research, social, cultural, historical, or artistic value
  • the content aligns with the values, mission and mandate of the EU institutions
  • the EU institution’s stakeholders and/or the public in general will be affected if this digital heritage is not preserved

In principle, all static web content is archived. Embedded social media accounts and databases behind websites are currently not archived.

Where to find the archive

The archive is freely accessible online

Guidelines – preparing sites for archiving

Before revamping or taking offline (all or a part of) your website, you may want to archive it one last time. Prepare your website for archiving by removing all content and files that have no future (historical, legal, political, research, cultural) value. Remove also all content that is protected by intellectual property rights (e.g. copyright); that is confidential or private; or that is affected by data protection rules. 

The following guidelines can help you to prepare your site for archiving:

Preparing sites for archiving.pdf

Please also take the following into account: users can navigate the archived sites like a live website. However, archiving with a crawler has some technical limitations and as a result certain features may not work, including the following:

  • the original website’s built-in search
  • content that can only be reached after logging in
  • certain navigational elements, e.g. drop-down menus, tick boxes and some maps
  • flash animations and games, streaming media and embedded social media
  • complex JavaScript
  • POST functionality

How to make a web archiving request

Archiving workflow

a. Regular archiving of living websites

What

How

Who

When

Archiving request

Provide required information using request form.

Website owner

Upon establishment of a new EC and/or DG website

Analysis of request


OP WP team


Approval/rejection of request

Email with justification of conclusions to website owner and CEM

OP WP team


For accepted requests




Quarterly crawling

Remote crawling

OP WP team and contractor

15 March, 15 June, 15 September and 15 December

Quality control

Visual/manual check of quality of the crawl, and feedback to OP WP team

Website owner

Upon invitation, sent by OP WP team

Patching

If needed and possible: improvement of quality of the archived version

OP WP team and contractor

Upon reception of WO feedback on quality

Acceptance/rejection of crawl

Email to OP WP team

Website owner


Publication/takedown of crawl


OP WP team



b. Ad hoc archiving of websites that are to be taken offline or changed substantially

What

How

Who

When

Clean-up of website

See preparing sites for offline preservation checklist

Website owner


Archiving request

Provide required information using request form.

Website owner

At least 3 months before the site will be taken offline/changed

Analysis of request


OP WP team


Approval/rejection of request

Email with justification of conclusions to website owner and CEM

OP WP team

Maximum 1 week after reception of CEM approval

For accepted requests




Planning

Discussions on deadlines and crawl specifications


Upon approval of the request

Crawling

Archiving following crawl specifications

OP WP team and contractor

According to planning agreed with website owner

Quality control

Visual check of quality of the crawl, and feedback to OP WP team

Website owner

Upon invitation, sent by OP WP team

Patching

If needed and possible: improvement of quality of the archived version

OP WP team and contractor

Upon reception of website owner feedback on quality

Acceptance

Email to OP WP team

Website owner


Publication


OP WP team


Redirections (if desired)

Following the guidelines provided by OP WP team

Website owner


Takedown policy

There are legitimate circumstances when it may be required to hide pages in the web archive from public view.

Anyone can submit a motivated takedown request. Please use this email link to initiate it: op-web-preservation@publications.europa.eu.

Takedown will only be considered in one of the following cases:

  • if the page includes one of the following types of content:
    • personal or sensitive personal information, as defined by Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies
    • copyright protected material for which the necessary rights are not held
    • defamatory or obscene material or messages
  • if the content of the page may cause serious and real administrative difficulties to the website owner
  • if the page was published in good faith, but circumstances for this have changed and its takedown is now considered appropriate
  • if the page was published in error and its takedown is deemed necessary to correct this mistake

Legal information

  1. Copyright

© European Union, 2019

The Publications Office carries out web archiving to preserve the websites of the European Union. Most of the archived content of the websites that are accessible in the EU web archive (EUWA), is under EU (or EU institutions, agencies or bodies) copyright. Ownership and copyright of websites in the EUWA remain the responsibility of the website owners.

Unless otherwise stated, the material obtained from the EUWA may be freely reproduced. This general principle can be subject to conditions, which may be specified in individual copyright notices. It does not apply to photographs, videos, pieces of music or other material subject to intellectual property rights of third parties (non-EU). In such cases, permission to use the material must be sought directly from the copyright holders. The Publications Office does not warrant that all third-party content is appropriately marked.

All logos and trademarks are excluded from the abovementioned permission.

Any queries regarding the above should be addressed to the following email OP-COPYRIGHT@publications.europa.eu

       2. Privacy statement


Contact and support

Need further assistance on this topic? Please contact either the team in charge of Europa Domain Management or the team responsible for archiving at the Publications Office. (EU Login required)

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