Posted by: Government & Heritage Library | May 12, 2010

Preservation Week Spotlight on Digital Collections based on Events

It sometimes takes striking historical events to spur preservation of digital materials.  The collections featured in today’s Preservation Week post capture vital digital information documenting tragic, proud, and complex moments in time.

  • The Library of Congress has captured websites based on events like biennial national elections, the 2005 papal transition, and sites related to the Iraq War captured in 2003 and made them available through MINERVA.  You can also view the captured websites of members of congress and law library blawgs (law blogs).
  • As one of the pivotal events in United States history occurring during the digital age, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 generated terabytes of digital information.  The September 11 Digital Archive, a joint project of the Center for History and New Media and the American Social History Project, contains digital objects in multiple formats.  This project preserves and makes accessible a broad range of digital materials related to September 11, including voicemail, digital art, and interviews.
  • Events don’t have to be momentous to be considered for preservation.  Recently, the Library of Congress announced that Twitter will be gifting all tweets made since the site’s beginning in 2006 for the library to preserve.  While raising questions and concerns related to privacy and relevancy, it’s interesting to consider the roles that both Twitter and the Library of Congress are playing to try to ensure that information related to personal and public events are preserved for future research and review.

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