22    Apr 20100 comments

Preservation: Twitter, digital records and more

In this Internet age, how can we preserve digital and traditional photos, documents, recordings and more?

There were several announcements this week by the Washington, DC-based Library of Congress. Here are two of them.

TwitterOne was the acquisition by the LOC of the entire Twitter archive. Ever tweet that you - and everyone else - has ever sent since Twitter launched will be archived for eternity.

There's a good side to this, as well as a cautionary note. The positive note is that our descendants will learn more about us as individuals, what we were interested in, what was important to us, and academics will be able to spend years researching the information and how Twitter changed the world.

In a lighter vein, our future generations will know where we went for lunch, what we ate, if we enjoyed it, and find links to every genealogy (and other blogs) post.

The downside is that every tweet every person has ever posted - regardless of whether it was written in good humor, in anger, or any other shade of emotion - will be available to researchers after a six-month delay window.

Some tweeters are understandably not quite happy with this development.Now that you know your tweets will be digitally preserved for eternity, will it change how and what you write?

Read the announcement on the LOC Blog, the Twitter blog, the LOC press release.

Comments on each are interesting - read them - and run the expected range of positive and negative reactions.

Preservation Week, May 9-15

Pass It OnFor readers who live near Washington, DC, the Library of Congress (LOC) has planned the "Pass It On" Personal Archiving Day, 9am-3pm, Monday, May 10. And for those who cannot attend in person, the Library has put together an excellent toolkit of resources.

The toolkit's sections include Preserving Your Memories (organized by material types: paper, photos, books, textiles, audio, artifacts and digital), Disaster Recovery, Bibliographies & Indexes, Videos, Preservation for Children, Comprehensive Resources and a good collection of resources in languages other than English (including Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian and Arabic resources).

At the event, LOC preservation experts will speak with attendees about managing materials in all formats - everything from email to home movies to digital photos and audio files.

It also celebrates the first national Preservation Week, May 9-15. Read more about the week, which is sponsored by the LOC, American Library Association (ALA), the Institute for Museum and Library Services and other organizations.

Learn more and sign up for digital preservation updates here. The LOC's Office of Strategic Initiatives, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation's goal is to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information created only in ditigal for for current and future generations.

I'd like to hear your comments on the Twitter archive and whether you will change your tweeting habits in light of this preservation effort, as well as your thoughts on Preservation Week. What digital records are you interested in preserving and why? I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

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