Library of Congress to archive tweets

The Library of Congress announced this week that it will archive the content on Twitter, meaning all of the 55 million 140-character tweets per day.

The Library of Congress announced this week that it will archive the content on Twitter, meaning all of the 55 million 140-character tweets per day.

The New York Times reported that the federal library reached out to Twitter a few months ago about the proposition.

According to the Times:

Library officials explained the agreement as another step in the library's embrace of digital media. Twitter, the Silicon Valley start-up, declared it “very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history.”

Academic researchers seem pleased as well. For hundreds of years, they say, the historical record has tended to be somewhat elitist because of its selectivity. In books, magazines and newspapers, they say, it is the prominent and the infamous who are written about most frequently.

But although celebrities like Mr. [Ashton] Kutcher may have the most followers on Twitter, they make up a tiny portion of its millions of users.

“This is an entirely new addition to the historical record, the second-by-second history of ordinary people,” said Fred R. Shapiro, associate librarian and lecturer at the Yale Law School.

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