Library of Congress to Archive All Tweets

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04/14/2010 3:56 PM |

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Librarians don’t archive books, they archive information, and somebody has to be value-neutral about primary sources, but still, the news that the Library of Congress plans to digitally archive every Tweet ever tweeted seems… well. It’s certainly an interesting form of communication, from a historical perspective.

Traffic from the (tweeted) announcement briefly to have crashed the Library of Congress’s blog, because if you’re an enthusiastic bookish person—a librarian, say—trying to “adapt to the new information technology” the best way to “reach potential users where they live” is to confirm that it really is just all about them, always.

I’m curious about the subsequent announcement, with “emphasis on the scholarly and research implications of the acquisition”. I’m also curious about how exactly one goes about cataloging and cross-referencing the components of a fluid, interconnected, enormous self-referential communication system. That seems like a lot of work, which is often its own reward.