Work to archive the web began in 1996, with the ground-breaking initiative of the Internet Archive. Other organisations and institutions have followed, from national and state libraries and archives to museums and NGOs. Even individual researchers and research teams are beginning to create archives for personal use, as new tools make web archiving possible from a desktop PC. We now have access to two decades of web archives, collected in different ways and at different times, constituting an invaluable resource for the study of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Researchers are still just beginning to explore the potential of these vast archives, and to develop the theoretical and methodological frameworks within which to study them, but recognition of that potential is becoming ever more widespread. This conference seeks to explore the value of web archives for scholarly use, to highlight innovative research, to investigate the challenges and benefits of working with the archived web, to identify opportunities for incorporating web archives in learning and teaching, and to discuss and inform archival provision in all senses.