Six libraries poised and ready to save the nation's digital memory

New regulations, known as the legal deposit, will allow the nation's digital output to be preserved. Credit: British Library

Six major libraries are poised to capture and record the digital universe, including the entire web domain in the UK, under new regulations which come into play from today.

The British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Library Dublin will collect, preserve and provide access to the nation's output that appears in digital form; including blogs, e-books and other non-print items.

Watch the digital launch at the British Library:

As part of the new regulations, the libraries will have the right to receive a copy of every UK electronic publication, on the same basis as they have received print publications such as books for several centuries.

The regulations, known as legal deposit, will ensure that temporary materials like websites can be collected, preserved forever and made available to future generations of researchers for years to come.

Lucie Burgess, leading the project at the British Library, said the unprecedented operation would provide a complete snapshot of life in the 21st century which increasingly plays out online.

The results of the first live archiving of the UK web domain will be made available to researchers by the end of the year, along with thousands of e-journal articles, e-books and other materials.

To find out more about the digital innovations, click here.

For full details of how the new regulations will be implemented, visit the British Library's website.