Top Topics - Preserving the WWW

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Preserving Digital Born Materials

Podcast Notes (from TechTalk4Teachers)

February 29, 2012

Episode 129 TechTalk4Teachers


"The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.

As Librarian of Congress, I oversee the many thousands of dedicated staff who acquire, catalog, preserve, and make available library collections within our three buildings on Capitol Hill and over the Internet. I am pleased that you are visiting our Web site today, and I invite you return to it often."

Sincerely, James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress  
Accessed February 28, 2012 at

Multimedia Introduction to the Library of Congress 

The Library has historically been the home of millions of artifacts, and branched out to digitize millions of these items.  The newspapers from Chronicling America offer a look at information published over time and in different locations. 

In recent years, the media has reached out to the public through the use of the internet.  Because we still want to preserve these interviews, reports and stories, the Library is creating collections of material that are “born digital”.  Web sites are frequently changed and if a page is not archived or printed, it may be lost forever.  Just like the tangible artifacts of the Library, these items are being preserved.

This was the topic of this week’s Blog post in the Digital Preservation division of the Library.

TOPIC #1: The Twitter Event!  

In 2010 it was announced that the Library would collect every public tweet since Twitter’s inception in March 2006.   Read the announcement here.


Digital Preservation and Web Archiving

Library of Congress Web Archives 

Example: 2002 Election  - browse by office, state, etc. Search by Candidate  > Office - Governor > Geog Area - Illinois >Archived views of


Archive It - collects websites over time and offers collections.

-> Show All Collections for a list or search by keyword for 2002 election and see many more collections and perspectives.

In the upper right hand corner of the archive-it site, you can follow a link to   Self described as “The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.”

Search for Moving Images, Live Music Archive, Audio and Texts.

In the center of this page is a link to the Wayback Machine.

A group of Charleston High School students took part in the K-12 Web Archiving Project  by creating three collections for this project to offer a glimpse at what high school age students were looking at and for on the internet.


It is important that we collect information that correctly represents day to day life as well as the major media events.  Local happenings should be documented to accurately reflect our cultures and priorities at this time.


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