The Archive of Tomorrow: Health Information and Misinformation in the UK Web Archive


  • National Library of Scotland, United Kingdom

  • Cambridge University Library, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

  • Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Project summary

This pilot project will preserve and provide research access to 10,000 websites relating to health information (and misinformation), and will use this collection to enable more health research on the UK Web Archive.

Our project brings together four co-applicant institutions, and a network of other organisations and researchers, to tackle one of the most pressing research issues of our time: how can the story of changing online health information be captured and understood?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, online health advice, data and scientific evidence have been contested, revised, used and mis-used with global consequences – but the digital record of this activity is fragile and hard to access.

We will:

Curate a new research-ready collection of websites within the UKWA, with the theme of Health Information and Misinformation, ensuring a wide representation of diverse and otherwise under-collected sources.

Use this collection as a test-bed to explore options for metadata, computational analysis, ethics and rights issues.

Build a research network across disciplines including use cases, involving researchers in the process of building, evaluating and using collections.

Produce a project report with recommendations for future work and advocacy for change to make web archives more representative, inclusive and open for health research