Does Special Collections archive the content of TCU websites?

Web Archives Collection Policy

Policy Statement and Purpose

TCU Special Collections works to identify, collect, arrange, describe, preserve, and provide access to university records of permanent administrative and historical value.  Since May 2020, Special Collections has used the Archive-It Service to collect and provide access to selected TCU webpages because these pages document the activities of the university and provide valuable historical context for what the university was like during a given time and place.

User groups

The primary audience for the TCU Web Archives is students, faculty, staff, alumni, and researchers interested in the history of TCU.


The TCU Web Archives is maintained by the Senior Archivist with assistance from Special Collections and Library staff.  The Senior Archivist identifies and schedules web crawls of university web pages and administers the Archive-It application.  Under the supervision of the Senior Archivist, archives specialists create metadata for captured pages.  TCU Library Systems staff assists on technical issues as needed.

Methods & Scope

Special Collections uses the Internet Archive Archive-It service to capture websites.  Archive-It is a web crawler that browses websites and saves a copy of all the content and hypertext links it encounters. By default, the Archive-It crawler will not degrade website performance.  No active participation is required from TCU content owners and creators.  Archived content is stored in a digital preservation repository at one of the Internet Archives’ facilities (see Archive-It’s Storage and Preservation Policy for more details).

The TCU Web Archives captures selected webpages created by administrative offices, academic departments, and student organizations, as well as selected publications created at TCU.  The Senior Archivist identifies, appraises, and selects websites that reflect the mission and collecting interests of Special Collections as outlined in its Collection Development Policy.  Special Collections staff organizes and manages archived websites and provides descriptions and contextual information for materials.

Special Collections staff strive to capture as much web content as our subscription level and yearly data budget allow.  The completeness of the TCU Web Archives is limited by cost, storage space, and technology.  Archive-It saves “snapshots” of pages on a regular schedule set up by the archivist, based on how often the pages are updated.  In addition, some technologies (for example streaming videos) may not be captured by the archiving system or may not display in the way they were originally intended.  In the event that TCU Library ends its subscription to the Archive-It service, data collected will still be accessible to users.

At this time, Special Collections will not collect university social media streams, streaming media players with video or audio content, or password protected material.


All archived material will be subject to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as applicable.

Preservation and Access

Access to archived web content will be provided by Archive-it through a full text search function or date-based browsing through their Wayback viewer.  Publicly accessible material will be available through the Archive-It website. A link to TCU's content on the Archive-It site will be maintained on Special Collections' webpage.

Administrative Responsibility

Mary Couts Burnett Library

Policy History

Approved by Library Administrative Council 10/27/2022

Issued 10/27/2022

Related Policies and Information

Special Collections Collection Development Policy (FAQ What types of materials does Special Collections acquire?)


  • Last Updated Nov 09, 2022
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  • Answered By Ann Hodges

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