June 13, 2017 Webcomics and Web Cultures Archives Now on loc.gov

Collections Are Newest Additions to Born-Digital Content Online

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020
Website: Webcomics Web Archive | Web Cultures Web Archive

The Library of Congress today announced two new born-digital collections are now available on loc.gov – the Webcomics Web Archive and the Web Cultures Web Archive.

The Webcomics Web Archive (loc.gov/collections/webcomics-web-archive/about-this-collection/) 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.

The Web Cultures Web Archive (loc.gov/collections/web-cultures-web-archive/about-this-collection/) 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.   

The webcomics and web cultures archives are among numerous collections newly available online during the past year. Others include the papers of U.S. Presidents Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and William Henry Harrison; the papers of Sigmund Freud; a collection of more than 4,600 newspapers from Japanese-American internment camps; and 25,000 fire-insurance maps from communities across America, the first installment of 500,000 that will be accessible online.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States ­­— and extensive materials from around the world — both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 17-087
ISSN 0731-3527