Update on the Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress

In 2010, the Library of Congress announced an exciting and groundbreaking acquisition—a gift from Twitter of the entire archive of public tweet text beginning with the first tweets of 2006 through 2010, and continuing with all public tweet text going forward. The Library took this step for the same reason it collects other materials – to acquire and preserve a record of knowledge and creativity for Congress and the American people. The initiative was bold and celebrated among research communities.

In the years since, the social media landscape has changed significantly, with new platforms, an explosion in use, terms of service and functionality shifting frequently and lessons learned about privacy and other concerns.

The Library now has a secure collection of tweet text, documenting the first 12 years (2006-2017) of this dynamic communications channel—its emergence, its applications and its evolution.

Today, we announce a change in collections practice for Twitter. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the Library will acquire tweets on a selective basis—similar to our collections of web sites.

The Library regularly reviews its collections practices to account for environmental shifts, diversity of collections and topics, cost effectiveness, use of collections and other factors. This change results from such a review.

More information is available in the attached white paper.

Some important details:

  • The Library will continue to preserve and secure its collection of tweet text.
  • The Twitter collection will remain embargoed until access issues can be resolved in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.
  • The Library will work with Twitter to acquire tweets on a selective basis.

Attached is a white paper summarizing today’s announcement, as well as the original gift agreement with Twitter for reference.

Blog post: “Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive,” April 14, 2010
Blog post: “The Library and Twitter: An FAQ,” April 28, 2010
Blog post: “Update on the Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress,” Jan. 4, 2013

La Biblioteca Podcast Series Launches

Today we launched our newest podcast series, “La Biblioteca” (The Library), in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Every Thursday for the next eight weeks, Library specialists will explore the Library’s rich collections that focus on the cultures of Spain, Portugal, Latin America and the Hispanic community in the United States. Catalina Gómez and Talía […]

Remix, Slang and Memes: A New Collection Documents Web Culture

This is a guest post by Nicole Saylor, head of archives at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress just announced the release of the Web Cultures Web Archive Collection, a representative sampling of websites documenting the creation and sharing of emergent cultural traditions on the web. Why is […]

Join the (Twitter) Party!

(The following is a guest post by Guy Lamolinara, communications officer in the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.) The Library of Congress Literacy Awards program is having a party. The party is on Twitter and it will recognize the importance of promoting literacy and all those individuals and organizations dedicated to […]

Trending: The Inauguration Will Not (Just) Be Televised

(The following post is featured in the January/February 2017 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, and was written by Audrey Fischer, LCM editor. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The inauguration of the 45th president will be the social media event of the year. Today, social media provides an unlimited […]

The Power of Photography

(The following is a feature story from the November/December 2016 Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, that was written by Helena Zinkham, director of the Library’s Collections and Services Directorate and chief of the Prints and Photographs Division. You can read the issue in its entirety here.)  What do Marilyn Monroe, Civil War soldiers and the Wright Brothers […]

Veterans History Project Gets New “Book”

Adding another “book” to its social media shelf, the Library of Congress welcomes the Veterans History Project to Facebook. There, VHP will be sharing the stories of our veterans along with other news and initiatives. Visitors are also encouraged to share their own stories and help VHP collect more. VHP’s Facebook joins several other Facebook accounts from the […]

Carla Hayden Swearing-In To Be Broadcast on YouTube

Carla D. Hayden will be sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in a historic ceremony in the Thomas Jefferson Building Wednesday, Sept. 14 at noon. The ceremony will be broadcast live, beginning at 11 a.m., on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. The YouTube broadcast will be captioned. The ceremony marks two milestones: Hayden will […]

Congas, Sambas and Falling Plaster

I was 15 years old, sitting cross-legged next to my friend Mascha on a cork-tile floor at Mammoth Gardens, a roller-skating rink built in 1910. Plaster, occasionally, was falling from the ceiling – because the band on the stage that night was the drum-heavy Santana, which had just released its 1970 album “Abraxas.” That’s the […]