November 30, 2020

The Library of Congress Launches Two New Collections of Archived Web Content: Webcomics Archive and Web Cultures Archive

From LC:

The Webcomics Web Archive [Collection Period: June 4th, 2014 to ongoing] focuses on comics created specifically for the web and supplements the Library’s extensive holdings in comic books, graphic novels and original comic art.

“Webcomics are an increasingly popular format utilized by contemporary creators in the field  and often include material by artists not available elsewhere,” said Megan Halsband, a librarian in the Serial and Government Publications Division.

Webcomics selected for this collection include award-winning comics as well as webcomics that are significant for their longevity, reputation or subject matter. The collection includes sites such as Dinosaur Comics, Hyperbole and a Half, and XKCD. Also included are works by artists and subjects not traditionally represented in mainstream comics, including women artists and characters, artists and characters of color, LGBTQ+ artists and characters, as well as subjects such as politics, health and autobiography.

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The Web Cultures Web Archive [Collection Period: June 4th, 2014 to ongoing] is a representative sampling of websites documenting the creation and sharing of emergent cultural traditions on the web such as GIFs, memes and emoji. The project is part of the American Folklife Center, established by Congress to document traditional cultural forms and practices.

“The proliferation of smart phones, tablets and wireless internet connection has positioned networked communication as a space where people increasingly develop and share folklore,” said Elizabeth Peterson, director of the American Folklife Center. “This effort will help scholars 25 and 100 years from now have a fuller picture of the culture and life of people today. “Sites included in the archive are Urban Dictionary, Internet Meme Database, Emojipedia and Boing Boing.

The Library collected and is displaying these sites with permission. Any further use by the public may also require permission.

The Library has been archiving select websites since 2000 and has now preserved more than a petabyte of web content, including collections of federal executive, legislative and judicial websites; sites of international governments; and national institutions such as the U.S. Olympic Committee and the American Red Cross.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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