- UK Government Web Archive
From 1997 to 2010 The National Archives selected government datasets for archiving in the National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD), part of the University of London Computer Centre. Selected datasets were physically transferred from government departments along with supporting contextual information. NDAD converted the data from its original format to the simple open format ‘csv’ in order to make the data available via the NDAD website for download or purchase as a DVD.
For more detailed information on this discontinued system, see the NDAD website that has itself been captured into the web archive http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20101104101827/http://www.ndad.nationalarchives.gov.uk/.
You can search for the actual data from NDAD in Discovery, our online catalogue.
UK Government Web Archive
The NDAD system was discontinued in 2010 because the way government works with datasets has greatly evolved since 1997. The Transparency and Public Data initiative has increasingly made datasets available on departments’ own websites, making it possible to harvest datasets directly into the UK Government Web Archive. From here, they can be downloaded and viewed in the context of the government website at the time of harvest. Central government datasets that are linked to the http://data.gov.uk/ portal (which does not itself host datasets) are also captured by this method.
Datasets hosted on central government websites are archived as part of our regular web archiving schedule. Generally, datasets are captured as part of the sites on which they are hosted (for example datasets hosted on www.dwp.gov.uk are archived as part of that site). For datasets listed on http://data.gov.uk/ we undertake quality assurance to ensure that these datasets have been archived successfully.
As with all other web hosted content, Archiving datasets is subject to the technical limitations of web archiving technology. Please see the 'Information on web archiving page' for details. We provide advice to government departments to help them ensure that datasets are published in a way that is possible to web archive successfully.
If you have any queries about the archiving of government datasets please contact firstname.lastname@example.org