The Library of Congress > Wise Guide > November 2011 > Electing to Archive
Electing to Archive

2008 was a monumental election year. America saw the election of the first African American to the presidency. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) beat Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by a 53 percent to 46 percent margin. Also notable was the inclusion of a woman, Sarah Palin, as the vice-presidential candidate on the Republican ticket.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama speaks to the audience at the Democratic National Convention, Denver, Colo., Aug. 25-28, 2008. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-highsm-03846 (original digital file); Call No.: LC-DIG-highsm- 03846 (ONLINE) [P&P] Your vote makes a difference. Between 1965 and 1980. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Call No.: POS 6 - U.S., no. 158 (C size) <P&P> [P&P]

As part of a continuing effort by the Library to evaluate, select, collect, catalog, provide access to, and preserve digital materials for future generations of researchers, the institution has put together a web archive for the 2008 election. Approximately 2,200 sites have been collected and preserved. Users can browse by subject, name or site title, as well as search by keyword.

In 2003, the Library began capturing websites related to the Iraq War. Currently available and processed are more than 230 sites as part of Phase I.

Other subject areas in which the Library has been collecting websites include recent Supreme Court nominations; Hurricane Katrina; the papal transition following the death of John Paul II; and the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. More about these collections plus many other available collections can be found at the Library of Congress Public Web Archives website.

Because an ever-increasing amount of the world's cultural and intellectual output is created in digital formats and does not exist in any physical form, the Library of Congress and libraries and archives around the world are interested in collecting and preserving content on the web.

The Web Capture Program is directly related to the Library's larger digital preservation program, called the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.

October 6 was Digital Archives Day. In addition to the Library's web archives, the institution has several other resources and programs it supports in the areas of digital content collections and information about digital projects and programs. Its digital content collections and projects and programs are highlighted in a recent blog post from The Signal blog.