Web Archiving Policy


This policy outlines the University of Ottawa Library’s strategy for the archiving of selected websites and their content. These archiving activities will be undertaken in collaboration with website owners and the appropriate copyright holders. Preservation of valuable web content, in both English and French, for future generations is integral to the stewardship role of the Library. As such, the Library manages a service for the preservation of web content of permanent and historical value to the University community. This service is part of the Library’s larger mandate to acquire and curate collection resources in support of the University’s scholarship, teaching, innovation, and knowledge-creation activities. This policy will align with a holistic preservation strategy of the Library, to be developed when feasible.

The Web Archiving Working Group is responsible for making recommendations to the Head, Collections Strategy. The Working Group also addresses operational issues, such as workflows, quality assurance, and technical oversight.


Materials approved for web archiving are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Website owner has given consent to archiving and written permission has been obtained from the copyright holder, where applicable
  • Materials that align with the Library’s strategic priorities
  • Materials not already archived by another group or organization to ensure a coordinated approach that does not duplicate work already done by others
  • Materials that align with the Library’s Collection Development Policy
  • Materials identified as being relevant and valuable, and at risk of permanent loss
  • Materials that meet the evaluation criteria in our evaluation rubric, including budgetary, data storage, and technical issues


The Library does not assert ownership rights over the intellectual property of archived web content. All rights of ownership remain with the owner(s) identified on the website and are governed by the applicable local, national, and/or international laws and regulations. The Library assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or lawfulness of the websites or the contents within.

Authorized Use

Web content is archived for the purposes of research and private study, within the context of Canadian copyright law. When reproducing and using content from the archived website, users are encouraged to review the website’s terms of use. The Library cannot authorize the use of the material, nor does it act as an intermediary with website owners on behalf of users. University of Ottawa users should refer to the following websites for additional information:

Notification and Opting Out

The Library will evaluate requests for the removal of archived web content for the full term of copyright, unless a shorter term is agreed upon. University of Ottawa is only able to remove content from its own archived copy; in the instance where an active version of the website still exists, the website owner would need to be contacted directly to address any copyright claims.


Archived materials will be hosted in perpetuity using Archive-IT, a service from the Internet Archive that allows libraries and other organizations to harvest, build, and preserve collections of digital content. Content is hosted and stored at the Internet Archive data centers, but the collections themselves are not owned by the Internet Archive.


The Library endeavors to maintain the integrity of archived websites by capturing and presenting the information as it was originally made available to the public. The Library will not be held liable for the conduct or actions of site owners or those who access and use the archived web content. The Library does not assume responsibility for verifying the accuracy of the archived content nor is it responsible for monitoring the archived websites for copyright compliance. A site owner is responsible for the content they communicate to the public by telecommunication and is solely responsible for securing the necessary permissions and releases when required by law. Those who access and use the Library’s archived web content do so at their own risk.


For any questions or comments, please contact Monica Ward, Head, Collections Strategy by email.

March 2019

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