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Alexandria Library Local History / Special Collections is launching a new community web archiving program – the Alexandria Community Web Archives. As part of our ongoing mission to document the history and culture of Alexandria, we will now be capturing our community’s footprint on the world wide web!


Web archiving is the process of collecting portions of the internet, in order to preserve and provide access to these websites for future use. The goal of web archiving is to capture a “snapshot in time” of parts of the web and (as best as possible) to recreate the experience that a user would have had if they had visited those sites on the live web on the day that they were archived. 

A web archive is a group of archived websites that are often organized by theme, event, subject area, or web address. Some examples of web archives you might have used before are the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Library of Congress' Web Archives, or the DC Public Library’s People’s Web Archives.


You can browse all of our web archives collections at There are tons of potential uses for web archives! Web archives can serve basic-information seeking needs just like using other archival materials for research or using the live web to reference information. Web archives can also be useful datasets for research about the ways that communities grow and evolve over time.


Alexandria Library has partnered with Community Webs to launch this new community web archiving program. Community Webs, an initiative of Archive-It and the Internet Archive, aims to advance the capacity for public libraries, community archives, and other cultural heritage organizations to collaborate with their communities to build archives of web-published primary sources documenting local history and underrepresented voices. Community Webs achieves this mission by providing resources for professional training, technology services, networking, and in support of scholarly research.

The project was launched in 2017 and since then, more than 150 public libraries and other cultural heritage organizations have joined. To learn more about Community Webs and their other partner institutions, check out their website at