News

“All Your Tweet Are Belong to Us” — @librarycongress

by Hrag Vartanian on April 15, 2010

Apologies to the meme

First MoMA acquires “@” and now the Library of Congress (aka @librarycongress) is acquiring every tweet since March 2006. Needless to say, Twitter is elated. But there is a stipulation, according to the Twitter blog:

Only after a six-month delay can the Tweets will be used for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation.

But don’t only rely on the venerable Library of Congress to be the only way to access historic tweets. Google has released Google Replay which will allow you to search tweets historically to see what people were saying on a given topic at a certain point in history — though considering 55,000,000 tweets a day are sent (and that number is climbing), I don’t know how easy it will be to sift through the mindless chatter to get to the gems.

But is it just me or does there seem to be an undeclared acquisitions race among collecting institutions to lay claim to the most unorthodox thing they can. Where this will lead no one knows but Madgalena Sawon of Postmasters tweeted one scenario that may certainly raise eyebrows:

With all the tweets deposited in the Library of Congress it’s time for NGA [aka the National Gallery of Art] to acquire [the] Chatroulette global penis database.

Interesting idea … but I have to admit it’s always great to see institutions look past the monetary value of things and elevate the bonds we all share. So, next time some luddite asks you “Who do you think is interested in what you had for breakfast?” You can confidently respond, “The Library of Congress, asshole!”

  • Subscribe to the Hyperallergic newsletter!

Hyperallergic welcomes comments and a lively discussion, but comments are moderated after being posted. For more details please read our comment policy.
  • http://ahistoric.blogspot.com/ Kyle Chayka

    Way to bring old video game interwebs jokes and contemporary art together! I believe this should be done more often.

    Someone set us up the… library?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Merriah-Lamb/571451361 Merriah Lamb

    Incredible! My tweets are part of the Library of Congress’s collection, finally, I can say that I am a published author.

  • http://www.twocoatsofpaint.com Sharon

    So if academics’ twitter feeds are archived at the LOC will they count towards tenure??

Previous post:

Next post: