British Library considers archiving social media

US Library of Congress has already decided to archive all public Twitter feeds.

The British Library is considering whether to preserve Twitter, Facebook and blog entries in the same way it archives print, reports The Independent.

"How far should you think about collecting and preserving social media such as Twitter, blogs, and forms we have not yet even discovered?" asked Dame Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library.

She was speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, which ended on Sunday.

Brindley noted that 19th century trade magazines, fashion magazines and other ephemera classed as everyday material by the British Library, and deemed to be less valuable, are now "extremely vital to the understanding of cultural and social history".

The report notes that the question has become all the more pressing following the decision by the US Library of Congress in April to archive all public Twitter feeds.

Earlier this year, the 400-year-old British Library completed a two-year trial of web archiving technology to preserve public information - increasingly stored on the internet - for future generations, according to a report by computerweekly.com.