Over the past 15 years or so, a lot of Scout Groups / Districts etc. will have set up their own websites. Some will still be going and some will have long since vanished.
These websites provide useful information about what is going on in that Group / District but also what has gone on. However, updates take place, web addresses change or the person running the site changes and some of the information gets lost.
Since 1996, the Internet Archive has been crawling the web and keeping snapshots of various websites. To quote the site –
The archive of pages goes back to 1996. The original Wayback Machine interface was released in 2001 with about 10 billion pages.
It’s a US based site, but they do record sites from all over the world. So for example, my Group’s site has been archived on it’s various addresses since 2000. See here and here (the first incarnation hasn’t been saved, but a slight reconstruction can be seen here).
Last year I read that the British Library are also in the process of archiving websites, but only from the UK, and were looking for nominations for sites to be archived. I put ours forward and I was rather surprised to learn that it had been accepted – and here is our archive page. Only one snapshot at the moment, but it should grow over time.
The thing with these archive sites is that it allows us to see what websites looked like in the past, see how they’ve changed (look at the BBC in 1996 for a chuckle) and they provide an interesting history of the Group etc. Maybe in 2108, someone researching the 200th anniversary of my Group will find it interesting to look back at our website of 2011 and see what we got up to!