Your Tweets Are Part of History: Library of Congress Almost Ready with Collection of Tweets from 2006 to 2010

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January 7, 2013 ‐ By Kimberly Maul
Young students pay a visit to the Library of Congress in Washington DC. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Young students pay a visit to the Library of Congress in Washington DC. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Are you ready for all your old tweets to become part of the Library of Congress? The research library announced last week that its plan to archive all of the tweets from 2006 through April 2010 is almost complete.

In April 2010, Twitter and the Library of Congress signed an agreement wherein all public tweets will be archived and made available, and since then, the Library of Congress has worked to not only preserve the original set of tweets, but also set up a secure and sustainable way of doing so in the future.

“The Library’s focus now is on addressing the significant technology challenges to making the archive accessible to researchers in a comprehensive, useful way,” the Library of Congress said in a blog post about the progress. “These efforts are ongoing and a priority for the Library.”

While all tweets will eventually be collected and archived by the Library of Congress, the availability may be limited for the average Joe. Tweets will not be available until six months after they were posted, content cannot be easily downloaded form the Library of Congress website, and researchers must agree to not use the data for commercial purposes.

Part of the mission of the Library of Congress is to “collect the story of America and to acquire collections that will have research value.” Does archiving tweets fulfill this mission? What do you see as the value of this research in the future?

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