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NLM Web Collecting and Archiving

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The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has a mandate to collect, preserve and make accessible the scholarly biomedical literature as well as resources that illustrate a diversity of philosophical and cultural perspectives. New forms of publication on the web, such as blogs authored by doctors and patients, illuminate health care thought and practice in the 21st century. In 2011 NLM piloted a project, resulting in the Health and Medicine Blogs collection, to better understand the processes and challenges of collecting born-digital web content. Since then, NLM has developed collections on the H7N9 Avian Flu, Autism and Alzheimer’s on the Web, and Global Health Events, including the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. NLM continues to carefully build capacity in this area to better understand the acquisition, accessibility and preservation of the diverse digital formats found on the web.


Web Archive Collections

NLM's web collecting and archiving are primarily collection-based activities. Multiple web sites are collected as part of a broader theme, event or topic. NLM gives highest priority to content that is at-risk of loss or that is believed to be of vital interest to current and future NLM audiences and unlikely to be preserved elsewhere. The Library's goal is to collect and preserve selected web content at a particular point in time (i.e., snapshots) or over a period of time (e.g., daily, monthly, quarterly, etc.).  NLM's web archive collections are hosted and stored at the Internet Archive data centers.


Event-Based Collections

Thematic/Topical Collections


NLM Archives and Manuscript Collections


NLM Institutional Archives


Collaborative web collecting efforts



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Last Reviewed: February 9, 2023