Web Archiving

The Williams College Web Archive collects:

  • Web-based projects created by faculty, staff, and students
  • Websites, blogs, and social media by members of the Williams community
  • Student organization websites
  • Web-based materials donated to Special Collections
  • Websites that are records of the College

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are encouraged to submit URLs for websites, blogs, and social media presences to Special Collections for inclusion in the archive. For more information about Special Collections’ web archiving, please contact us.

Please see our guidelines on how to make sure your website is preservable.

To nominate or request a website to be archived, please fill out this form. (Williams only)

Search the Web Archive


  • Our goal is to create an archival copy- essentially a snapshot- of how the site appeared at a particular point in time. Depending on the collection, we preserve as much of the site as possible to provide context for future researchers, including:

    • html pages
    • images
    • flash animation
    • PDFs
    • audio
    • video
    • social media
    • data visualizations

    The crawler is currently unable to archive streaming media, "deep web" or database content requiring user input, and content requiring payment or a subscription for access.  In addition, there will always be some websites that take advantage of emerging or unusual technologies that the crawler cannot anticipate.

  • We collect websites that are publicly accessible. These may include pages with personal information.

  • Websites are selected according to collection strategies developed for each thematic or event collection. The Library maintains a collections policy statement and other internal documents to guide the selection of electronic resources, including websites. The College's records policy and associated records retention schedules prioritize and document websites that are institutional records.

  • Typically we crawl a website annually or quarterly, depending on how frequently the content changes.

    We may crawl your site for a specific period of time or on an ongoing basis. This varies depending on the scope of a particular project. Some archiving activities are related to a time-sensitive event, such as before and immediately after a national election, or immediately following an event. Other archiving activities may be ongoing with no specified end date.

Questions? Contact us.

See also: