The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Category: What Gets Saved
Social media, blogs, and websites dominate our lives. A Pew 2014 social media survey found that among American adults 18 and older, 58 percent use Facebook, 23 percent use LinkedIn, and 19 percent use Twitter.
A few years ago I wrote about organizing and maintaining digital images and now seems like a good time to expand on that topic. Do your digital efforts include capturing or archiving your own social media accounts, especially when one considers all the time and effort that can be invested in them?
There are plenty of tools and information available online about social media archiving for businesses, institutions, and government agencies to fulfill legal regulations and recordkeeping requirements. For the individual interested in being digitally responsible and saving their online digital footprint, this information is not always so evident.
While this is not a complete list here are some options:
Facebook offers a download feature for users when logged into their personal account. It includes your uploaded videos, photos, posts, and even ads you clicked on. This data can be important if you are a longtime and frequent user of Facebook and use it like a public diary. Old Dominion University also developed a Firefox plugin that also pulls your Facebook data for you.
While the Library of Congress is archiving every public tweet from Twitter, account holders can request all their tweets via Twitter settings. Please note that it might take a few days for the archive to be created. It contains your own tweets and retweets in JSON and CSV formats. It does not include deleted tweets or direct messages. Public tweets dating back to 2006 on Twitter also have been searchable since November 2014.
In terms of accounts such as Flickr, Instagram and YouTube, it is wise to save a copy of your important images and video to a reliable medium, such as a hard drive that is backed up regularly. Cloud storage is another option.
Websites and blogs can be handled in a few ways. One option is to create a PDF of the site or the pages. Web pages also can be saved to HTML within browsers but this can be time-consuming. Some blog platforms have export options to save to XML.
If you are not inclined to install a web crawler on your own to capture content, the Internet Archive accepts web pages to be crawled, if allowed by the site, and displays it via its Wayback Machine. Keep in mind this option does not provide you your own copy on your computer but is a place online that provides a snapshot in time of the site. This is handy when a web page is cited in a publication since the Wayback Machine URI will not change of the capture even if the live page is removed.
Anthologize is a WordPress plugin that allows you to take blog content and compile it as a single volume. It can then be saved as PDF, ePUB, or TEI (an open XML format for storage and exchange). Staff from the Archives was involved in its development as part of the One Week/One Tool project.
And while we are still in the first month of the new year, consider changing all of your account passwords, if not done regularly. News stories of system hacks are a regular occurrence now. Not only can information be stolen but also deleted or altered. Having your own data in some form could take some of the sting out of an unfortunate incident.
- You Asked, We Answered: 2014 Archives Facebook Q&A, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- You Asked, We Answered: Archives Facebook Q&A, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Personal Digital Archiving: Preserving Your Digital Memories, Library of Congress
- 20 years in the making - Charle's Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis" is finally back on the ground at the National Air and Space Museum as it undergoes preservation work. [via The Torch, SI]
- These new videos shows you how to engage student with arts. [via The Getty Iris]
- Found in the archives - A glass ampoule containing an early sample of a cholera vaccine. [via The Times of Israel]
- New content online - Louisiana Digital Media Archive; Wikimedia Commons adds 100,000 medical history images from The Wellcome Library; The Whiteny Museum of Art puts online 21,000 works of American art; and Pond5 launched a searchable collection of 80,000 public domain videos, images, and 3D models. [via InfoDocket and OpenCulture]
- Archiving the web with the Internet Archive. [via The New Yorker]
- Revealed at least - 31 undeveloped rolls of film shot by a solder during World War II is processed. [via PetaPixel]
- No bones about it - The new app, Skin and Bones, from the National Museum of Natural History brings collections to life. [via Smithsonian Science]
- Happy 30th Birthday to the Getty Conservation Institute! [via The Getty Iris]
- Bibliophiles rejoice - Photographer Frank Bohbot, is embarking on a project to document the great libraries of the world. [via PetaPixel]
- Now complete - the University of Georgia Libraries improves access to more than 30 hours of rare videotaped interviews with former President Richard M. Nixon using the Oral History Metadata Snychronizer. [via InfoDocket]
- A unique set of object from the National Air and Space Museum's collections - Paul E. Garber's target kites. [via AirSpace, NASM]
- This is what you want . . . 10 minutes of real time book requests from the British Library. [via InfoDocket]
- During the first snow of 2015, the National Zoo's giant panda cub, Bao Bao, displayed the joy of experiencing snow for the first time. [via Smithsonian Science]
- Coming to a reading room soon - The American Library Association published a report on the need to develop policies regarding 3D printing in libraries. [via InfoDocket]
- The "Ansel Adams Act" went to Congress last week and aims to ensure that photography in public spaces is not prohibited, that the government will not charge photographers to shoot on public land, and that photographic equipment cannot be seized or tampered with. [via PetaPixel]
- The Digital Public Library of American (DPLA) recently announced a new strategic plan. [via InfoDocket]
- Talk about acceleration - A cheetah does 0-60 faster than a Ferrari or Lamborghini! [via Core77]
- Let there be images! - Extracting images from over 500 years of books. [via The Signal: Digital Preservation, LOC]
- After a three year search, the Michael Ellzey was appointed to head the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. [via NARA]
- Still many things yet to be discovered in the world - Here are five fascintating new species of animals discovered by Smithsonian scientists this year. [via Smithsonian Science]
- So this Christmas you may have gotten a drone to play with, the National Air and Space Museum offers some information about drones and what you can do with them. [via AirSpace, NASM]
- Before there was Yahoo, before there was Google, there was the Reference Librarian who would answer those questions you could not answer yourself. [via Hyperallergic]