Twitter Thursday: Library of Congress Will Archive Tweets
Article by George Norman
On 15 Apr 2010
As part of Twitter Thursday, the day when we put the spotlight on popular micro-blogging and social networking site Twitter, we have already reported that Twitter for iPhone is on its way and that the @anywhere service has gone live. We continue our coverage with the news that the Library of Congress will start archiving tweets.

The 210-year-old guardian of knowledge and cultural history, the Library of Congress, decided to archive the collected works of Twitter. Just to put things in perspective, there are some 105 million registered Twitter users; some 55 million tweets are sent out each and every day. The Library of Congress said this move on its part is due to its ongoing effort to embrace digital media.


“Have you ever sent out a ‘tweet’ on the popular Twitter social media service? Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be housed in the Library of Congress. That’s right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. So if you think the Library of Congress is “just books,” think of this: The Library has been collecting materials from the web since it began harvesting congressional and presidential campaign websites in 2000. Today we hold more than 167 terabytes of web-based information,” announced the Library’s Director of Communications, Matt Raymond.

As you can imagine, Twitter is quite pleased with this. Twitter founder Biz Stone said the following on the topic:

“It is our pleasure to donate access to the entire archive of public Tweets to the Library of Congress for preservation and research. It's very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history. The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. This is something we firmly believe and it has driven many of our decisions regarding openness.”

There is something you should note though. Tweets will be used put on public display, used for non-commercial researched, and preserved by the Library of Congress only after a 6-month delay.

Other articles from our Twitter Thursday coverage:

Tags: Twitter, Library of Congress
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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