History

My favourite closed government website…

… has to be Enemy Property, which dealt with the handling of property seized from people during the Second World War. It’s not just the gap of several decades between the last seizure of property and the invention of the web, let alone the creation of the website, which caught my eye but also this detail:

The database on this website has not been edited. It therefore includes assets which were repaid in the 1950s.

In other words, someone actually sat down to create a website that contained information that was already several decades out of date. Though perhaps someone knows more about this process and why that was done?

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4 responses to “My favourite closed government website…”

  1. I quite like the idea of retro-fit websites. Imagine if all historical public data were viewable and you had a browser with some kind of slider that allowed you to choose the day upon which you were viewing that data.

    I was listening to ‘In Our Time’ earlier and wishing that the ‘They Work For You’ website would allow me to go and view the speeches of Edmund Burke. I found that the site’s records are less consistant and orderly as time goes back and the earliest reference I could find to the great man was this – surprisingly good – quote from one Mr Geoffrey Lloyd MP back in 1936:

    “Members like to meet the views of their constituents whenever possible, but that there were occasions when we must remember the words of Edmund Burke, that great Member of Parliament, that we are not merely Members for our constituencies, but Members of Parliament. The fact that that occurs in this House when the occasion demands it is one of the great distinctions between this House and some of the Continental Parliaments that exist no more to-day.”

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