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Northwestern University Web Archive

Identifier: 77/1

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Northwestern University web archives containing approximately 1.4 terabytes of data spans 2011 to present. The collection documents and preserves Northwestern University online resources of unique, essential, and enduring value. It includes captures of historic and current websites that have been hosted by Northwestern University and sites whose content relate to the University, its history, community, and operations. Additionally, the collection includes captures of historic and current websites that relate to Northwestern University faculty, staff, student groups, and alumni that document their work as part of the Northwestern community. These archived websites parallel and complement Northwestern University Archives’ record groups (both paper-based and digital).


  • 2011-


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.

Conditions Governing Use

The intellectual property rights of the born-digital material in this collection belong to the original creators and may be subject to copyright or other restrictions.


1.4 Terabytes

Language of Materials



The Northwestern University Web Archives contains approximately 1.4 terabytes of born-digital files documenting Northwestern's web presence from 2011 to present of enduring historical and administrative, legal, or cultural significance. It includes captures of historic and current websites that have been hosted by Northwestern University and from sites that relate to Northwestern faculty, staff, student groups, and alumni. The Northwestern University Archives has selected these websites to document academic, administrative, research, athletic, public service, and social activities and reflect the evolving nature of the University's web presence.


Websites within the collection have been organized by Record Groups.

Technical Requirements

All web archives in this collection are available freely online using the Archive-It database (see \"Digital Material\" note below). Please note that some content may not render exactly as it had at the time of its original publishing due to limitations of web crawling technologies. If content is not loading and/or rendering properly in Wayback and you wish to access it, please contact for assistance as content may be accessible from the administrative portion of the database. Requests for different access methods, such as those not using computers or with the aid of assistive technologies, must be made in advance of a research appointment to Library staff.

Custodial History

From 2011 to 2014, websites were acquired with the California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service, which used the Heritrix web crawler. From 2015 to present, websites have been acquired with Archive-It web crawling service, which uses Heritrix and Brozzler web crawlers. Archive-It stores and preserves the master files of the web archives in accordance with the Library's digital preservation policy.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Heritrix and/or Brozzler web crawlers periodically capture Web ARChive (WARC) file formats of live websites as the master copies for digital preservation storage and access.


Certain sites in the collection are automatically set to crawl and be added to this collection either monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually.

Guide to the Northwestern University Web Archive
Benn Joseph, 2014 Updated by Kelsey O'Connell, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US