Triumph GT6 MKIII Dash

Triumph GT6 MKIII Dash

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Library of Congress Web Archives

The Library of Congress Web Archives covers information on around twenty-one more current (post 2000) events. Being the United State’s Library of Congress web archive, this means that there is a heavy focus on events in which the USA and its congress were heavily involved in, placing various limitations on what you can find (for as previously mentioned there are only 21 collections, and an additional visual images collection). The website has recently gone through a transformation in terms of formatting and can be found at this link: The upgrade’s most notable feature is the ability to better search for desired topics and significantly narrow down the search, this new styled website also makes the amount of information covered look more comprehensive that the previous site.

But what is the point of the Library of Congress Web Archives to start off with? Basically it has been put in place to capture web activity that corresponds with major US events. Browsing into certain events, such as the Invasion of Iraq in 2003 you can find websites covering a scope of information that related to “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” From political cartoons, websites for returning veterans and even site for pets with patriotic names. Pages for official military branches, anti-war website, news articles, and blogs are amongst the more frequently visited sites when it comes to this subject, but no matter what the source is this website does exactly what it is supposed to and what is desired by the likes of history students and professionals, especially those evaluating the digital humanities.

An in depth search brings me to the 2003 version of
the USMC website. This particular site is fully interactive.
By looking at this site we can gain valuable information on websites that are in some cases no longer existent, or that have been modified and modernized so much that they would not be recognizable.  What does this mean? Continuing with my example of the Iraq War, it means that we can gage public reaction on the internet; see how people felt about the conflict outside of the popular media, we as historians have been granted access to a massive collection of primary sources. We can also see how more official sources such as the United States Marine Corps and leading news agencies told the story of Iraq as they happened. And this case does not apply for only the Iraq war, information in readily available for other conflicts, elections and so forth. The Library of Congress Web Archives provides a large amount of preserved information on a specific scope of topics, which may also be its limitation as it does not cover as many sources as site like the Internet Archives. None the less even if you cannot find what you desire by using this source, which is bound to continue growing with time, it is definitely a good place to start when looking at more “current” US events.

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