Coinciding with National Library Week*, the Library of Congress announced their plan to archive Twitter. Yes, all of it.

Have you ever sent out a “tweet” on the popular Twitter social media service? Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be housed in the Library of Congress.

That’s right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That’s a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions.

The announcement came via LoC’s blog, and Twitter itself later blogged about the preservation efforts.

This is unequivocally a big deal. Regardless of how inane you may think Twitter is (I think I’m in the minority with that opinion, but whatever), the impact it’s had on our cultural landscape has been enormous. After watching the Mumbai bombing unfold on via Twitter in 2008, one of my first thoughts was, “Who is archiving this?” As LoC steps up to the plate, I’m looking forward to see what they take on next in the realm of digital preservation.

*Neil Gaiman is this year’s National Library Week Honorary Chair. If you haven’t seen his library yet, you’re in for a treat.

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