Bill Lefurgy, digital initiatives program manager, Library of Congress
- Library of Congress to receive entire Twitter archive (Federal News Radio, Dec. 7, 2011):
The Library of Congress and Twitter have signed an agreement that will see an archive of every public Tweet ever sent handed over to the library’s repository of historical documents.
“We have an agreement with Twitter where they have a bunch of servers with their historic archive of tweets, everything that was sent out and declared to be public,” said Bill Lefurgy, the digital initiatives program manager at the library’s national digital information infrastructure and preservation program. The archives don’t contain tweets that users have protected, but everything else — billions and billions of tweets — are there.
Lefurgy joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris Tuesday morning to talk about the library’s digital mission.
Using new technical processes it has developed, Twitter is moving a large quantity of electronic data from one electronic source to another. “They’ve had to do some pretty nifty experimentation and invention to develop the tools and a process to be able to move all of that data over to us,” Lefurgy said.
The Library of Congress has long been the repository of important, historical documents and the Twitter library, as a whole, is something historic in itself.
“We were excited to be involved with acquiring the Twitter archives because it’s a unique record of our time,” Lefurgy said. “It’s also a unique way of communication. It’s not so much that people are going to be interested in what you or I had for lunch, which some people like to say on Twitter.”
Researchers will be able to look at the Twitter archive as a complete set of data, which they could then data-mine for interesting information.
“There have been studies involved with what are the moods of the public at various times of the day in reaction to certain kinds of news events,” Lefurgy said. “There’s all these interesting kinds of mixing and matching that can be done using the tweets as a big set of data.”
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Tags: Global News, Government, Internet, New World Order, Politics, Society, Surveillance, Twitter, U.S.