The Significance of the Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress

It started with some techies casually joking around, and ended with the President of the United States being its most avid user. In between, it became the site of comedy and protest, several hundred million human users and countless bots, the occasional exchange of ideas and a constant stream of outrage. All along, the Library … Continue reading The Significance of the Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress

Roy’s World

In one of his characteristically humorous and self-effacing autobiographical stories, Roy Rosenzweig recounted the uneasy feeling he had when he was working on an interactive CD-ROM about American history in the 1990s. The medium was brand new, and to many in academia, superficial and cartoonish compared to a serious scholarly monograph. Roy worried about how his … Continue reading Roy’s World

The Digital Public Library of America, Me, and You

Twenty years ago Roy Rosenzweig imagined a compelling mission for a new institution: "To use digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past." I've been incredibly lucky to be a part of that mission for over twelve years, at … Continue reading The Digital Public Library of America, Me, and You

Digital Ephemera and the Calculus of Importance

[Thoughts prompted by an invitation to write a piece on the significance of "Notes, Lists, and Everyday Inscriptions" for The New Everyday, an innovative experiment in web publishing sponsored by MediaCommons. Since the editors of this edition of The New Everyday asked for something out of the ordinary for their curated collection, I thought it … Continue reading Digital Ephemera and the Calculus of Importance

Virtual Museum of the Gulag Seized

Depressing and not getting enough notice: masked police recently raided the office of the Russian human rights group Memorial, which has been digitally cataloguing the artifacts and names of those affected by the Soviet Gulag. The police took drives containing biographical information on more than 50,000 victims of Stalinist repression and over 10,000 digital photographs, … Continue reading Virtual Museum of the Gulag Seized