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Gallery: National Library launches its archive of General Election 2011 websites

Over 90 blogs and websites, including TheJournal.ie, were captured during the GE11 election period for the NLI’s first election website archive.

Image of TheJournal.ie's General Election 2011 site as archived by the National Library of Ireland.
Image of TheJournal.ie's General Election 2011 site as archived by the National Library of Ireland.
Image: NLI's election archive

THE NATIONAL LIBRARY of Ireland has released its archive of websites covering the February 2011 general election.

The library archives posters, leaflets and other election material during Irish elections, but this is the first time it has compiled a digital archive.

Working in partnership with the Internet Memory Foundation, the NLI is the first institution in Ireland to undertake this kind of web archiving project; the United States Library of Congress collected websites concerning 9/11 in the aftermath of the attacks, and the British Library has been building an archive of London 2012 websites for the past few years.

Della Murphy, the NLI’s Born-Digital Programme Manager, said that the general election was of “huge historical and technological importance, not least because of increased use of social media as a way to reach the electorate”.

Gallery: National Library launches its archive of General Election 2011 websites
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  • GE11 Archive

    The Enda Kenny computer game on Fine Gael's election site.
  • GE11 Archive

    TheJournal.ie's Election 2011 page, captured on 24 February 2011.
  • GE11 Archive

    TeaandToast.ie, as captured by the NLI for its archives on 21 February 2011.
  • GE11 Archive

    The Politics.ie site, captured on 16 February.
  • GE11 Archive

    The Maman Poulet blog, shown as captured on 21 February 2011.
  • GE11 Archive

    Fianna Fáil's party website, on 29 March 2011.
  • GE11 Archive

    The Department of An Taoiseach site on 21 February 2011.
  • GE11 Archive

    Candidate.ie, captured for the archive on 10 March 2011.
  • GE11 Archive

    Broadsheet.ie, shown as per 22 February 2011.

The 96 websites archived under the project were captured at least twice to catalogue coverage before and after polling day (25 February 2011).

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The library says its archive offers a window into sites and election coverage that are no longer online, as some organisations and candidates took their sites offline after the election period.

Murphy also notes that the online approach to the archive makes it more accessible to the public and to researchers than traditional library archives:

As a result of this NLI initiative, researchers will have no need to travel to the National Library to access the collection; they will just need access to a computer. Everyone from Junior Cert students to academic researchers, to someone simply surfing the net will be able to view this material.

The library is currently preparing to archive a range of websites, including TheJournal.ie, for the #Áras11 presidential election.

For more information, see the NLI’s general election archive >

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