back to article Librarians: Argos site is top priority to be preserved for future generations

Argos and a page discussing posh camping have been placed on a list of 100 websites the British Library regards as crucial reading for future generations who want to understand life in 2013. To mark the beginning of an ambitious attempt to archive the entire British internet, librarians from across Britain put their heads …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    "Why not tweet your suggestions using the hashtag #digitaluniverse..."

    Shame that couldn't have been at the top of the article.

    What's on that list starts to make sense when you realise it's been "crowdsourced" from the Tw@s.....

  2. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up


    Now there's a site worth archiving!

    Beer In The Evening - saving you from going to atrocious scum filled (and run) pubs, and highlighting hidden gems since the early noughties.

    Invaluable in London.

    Steven R

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: BITE

      Sadly people seem to have stopped updating beerintheevening. I used to use it a lot, but the last few times I've looked, there haven't been many reviews younger than 2010. Given how fast pubs change, that's not really useful.

      Suddenly lots of places seem to be on tripadvisor. And Apple have started using a US one on Apple Maps, so I've noticed they've now got quite a few reviews.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BITE

        For real ale lovers they should force all pubs to do this (warning! shameless advert for a real ale pub in Brum)

        And yes, you do need to refresh the page as the beer changes (to one of the few hundred in the cellar) when a barrel is emptied.

        As for everything else in the pub - who cares (but for the record this one has no TV, no games machines, no music)

      2. Dent Arthur Dent

        Re: BITE

        Because of the lack of updates on BITE most of the prolific reviewers switched to reviewing at instead.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warning, Rant incoming...

    Nice to see when it comes to the troubles in Northern Ireland they include the completely unbiased and not at all focused on a few (all be it important) events that happened in the previous century, from a much larger and complex part of history site ‘Museum of Free Derry’, rather than other websites such as the University of Ulster’s Conflict in Northern Ireland site ( ) with its unbiased in depth look at the background, politics, and history of social aspects and divides that both lead to the troubles and that continue to this day from both sides of the ‘wall’. Which wouldn’t be at all any better to include in a list aimed at representing British life as it is today.

    It’s good to know that future generations will have this as the one stop reference to one of our collectively most damaging, influencing and dare I say it interesting parts of modern British history.

    Sorry, I missed the sarcasm warning at the start of that rant.

    1. Rikkeh

      Re: Warning, Rant incoming...

      I don't think that site is being preserved for its value as a historical account. Instead it sounds like it's being preserved as an example of biased history-telling from our period.

      Our knowledge of the period and how things developed will change as more comes out of the archives and we're able to get some distance and perhaps a bit better perspective on the era. What won't change however is how that story was told in 2013 and how it had a bearing on the contemporary culture. In that respect, I wonder if the Derry website is in fact more valuable for preservation than the University of Ulster's.

  4. Jack Project

    Mumsnet *shudder*

    I actually feel sorry for the future historians forced to research that horrible bastion of hate and fuckwittery. I'd imagine they will look at it with the disdain that we do now at medieval religion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mumsnet is amazing

      Just look at the 'motoring' section if you want a good laugh.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        Re: Mumsnet is amazing

        "Just look at the 'motoring' section if you want a good laugh."

        Why? I agree with their review of red cars - and they've got it right about blue cars as well.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Mumsnet is amazing

        Is there a long, flame-ridden thread about how the steering wheel turns the wrong way when the car's going backwards?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mumsnet *shudder*

      "medieval religion", religion is still medieval and I look at it with disdain to day too.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My old school memorabilia site has an extract from the 1967 School magazine that was quite prophetic.

  6. fixit_f
    Thumb Up

    Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

    I know retail is a bit different now, but look at this 1985 one on Flickr - many happy memories in there for many people "of a certain age"! I used to go through it as a kid mentally picking the things I'd have in a perfect world where I had loads of money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

      "We looked at the websites which will be "essential reading for future generations researching our life and times in 2013"

      WTF-- this is 2013...?

      What does have to say about the UK in 2013? Yes Argos from 1985 should be added to a Time Capsule, but the online argos offering is poor. Has anyone at BL ever actually ordered from it? ...Ever tried to read reviews? ... View the products that are trending now? All of this you can do on Amazon, but Argos-- sorry but NO! The great minds at BL are offering a "#digitalPuniverse"...

      1. Reality Dysfunction

        Re: Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

        I order stuff from Argos pretty regularly, I do tend to read the reviews first on the website though and if its good leave feedback. What website are you talking about?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

      I was ready to scoff at this Argos idea but you're right. I want to look back in years to come and say; I had that gazebo, that shaver and that set of BBQ implements.

      1. Rikkeh

        Re: Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

        IMHO, it's the most mundane stuff (at the time) that tends to be the most interesting now. The BFI projected some films of London streets 100 years ago a few years back at Trafalgar Square. The way the streets have changed and not changed (tram tracks, horse drawn buses and signalmen on every corner have vanished without trace, other things remain virtually unchanged), was absolutely fascinating.

        It was also something that people at the time tended not to bother filming because they considered it so ordinary and so the footage is extremely rare. There was an El Reg article a few days ago about how we don't have the very first version of the very first website (although still an impressive effort retrieving what they've found given the circumstances) and have to make do with a later iteration. I guess we just don't appreciate history while it's current.

        1. SteveK

          Re: Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

          Started to write a confused reply but just re-parsed original comment and noticed that BFI != FBI.

    3. Steve Foster

      Re: Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

      One glance at the thumbnails and you know it's the Spring/Summer edition (without looking at the cover pic).

      [for the terminally slow, the presence of the gardening section at the beginning is the clue - it was always at the back (and much smaller) in the Autumn/Winter edition]

  7. Crisp Silver badge

    The Laminated Book of Dreams

    Surely the Argos site is archived there?

    1. Steve Foster

      Re: The Laminated Book of Dreams

      Only if there's room next to the Tears of Joy.

  8. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    Goodness, I thought from the headline that t they were talking about the Mycenean archeological sites.

  9. Flakey

    Good to see

    Order-Order and the Daily Mash on the list but wheres "" biased bbc" and chris spivey "dont fuck with the baldy"? I also see that theres a distict lack of supermarket websites (do these people think we dont shop?) oh well, suppose this is what happens when you let librarians loose.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What the hell is the point of archiving that - unless is to show the people of the future about our fascination for lot of not really funny cat photos?

    Also as we all fund the BL through various channels surely we should be wasting our money on archiving something more interesting and more "British"?

  11. You need to log in to use this part of the site

    El Reg strangely not in top 100 historymaking list

    Ah, but future intarweb historians can easily reconstruct El Reg for any particular date by simply copying and pasting the same press releases and agency stories as every other bloody science & technology website had on the same day, wrapping it in a poorly functioning interface —and then bunging a load of mostly semi-literate, but occasionally witty comments on the end.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're only archiving companies

    which will be put out of business by foreign etailers who are definitely not transfer pricing.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Don't see the point in archiving something as essentually useless as the argos web-site. Want to save it for prosperity? Stick a dead tree copy in the back of the cupboard where no-one will find it. No-one will be interested in the online copy once/if/when argos ceases trading anyway.

    Might be different if they sold own brand goods only available through their web-site, but they just sell stuff you can get anywhere.

    Complete waste of time. Guess someone has too much free time on their hands and needs to justify the continued existence of the their job...

  14. Zmodem

    no body uses argos or amazon, post man for council block estate have their own vans for all the cheaper and free postage buy it nows on ebay

  15. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge


    Archiving the web site won't pick up the details of the algorithm used by their search engine though

  16. Ken 16 Silver badge

    How about Google?

    Remind people what search engines looked like...

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