TeleRead, dating back to the 1990s, has made the Library of Congress Web archives. I don’t have full details, but received the following email, as TeleRead’s publisher:
The United States Library of Congress has selected your website for inclusion in its web archives. We consider your website to be an important part of this collection and the historical record.
The Library of Congress preserves the Nation’s cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them. The Library’s traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and the American people to foster education and scholarship, extend to digital materials, including websites…
In order to properly archive this URL, and potentially other URLs of interest on your site, we may archive both this URL and other portions of your site, including public content that your page links to on third party sites such as Facebook, YouTube, etc. The Library of Congress or its agent will engage in the collection of content from your website at regular intervals and may include it in future collections. The Library will make this collection available to researchers at Library facilities and by special arrangement.
The Library may also make the collection available more broadly by hosting the collection on the Library’s public access website no earlier than one year after our archiving has been completed. The Library hopes that you share its vision of preserving Internet materials and permitting researchers from across the world to access them…
Our web archives are important because they contribute to the historical record, capturing information that could otherwise be lost. With the growing role of the web as an influential medium, records of historic events could be considered incomplete without materials that were “born digital” and never printed on paper…
LoC did not tell me the precise reasons for including TeleRead, but perhaps we made the archives because we’re not just a gadget site. To a great extent we are also about ebook tech’s place in society, and we have been especially keen on well-stocked national digital libraries and the creation of national digital library endowments in the U.S. and elsewhere.
What’s more, while many other techie sites avoid politics, TeleRead embraces it in ebook, library, and copyright contexts, regardless of whether our exercise of our First Amendment rights offends people with more limited visions for the site.
Through our advocacy of ebook standards, most notably ePub, which came about partly in response to our OpenReader efforts, we also have helped influenced the ebook industry to one extent of another.
Sorry for the obnoxious brags, but at a time when certain people are criticizing TeleRead for repeatedly hammering away at Donald Trump as a threat to libraries and learning in general, it’s important to know why TeleRead happened and what it still stands for. Yes, we love ebook readers, tablets, cellphones and other gadgets. But we care endlessly how they’re used, and about who is able to use them—hence, our interest in digital divide issues and plenty more. As president, Trump mostly likely would be a disaster for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and set a bad example for politicians at state and local levels.
Details: The LoC archiving will not include the very earliest incarnation of TeleRead as a Web site without its own domain. But at some point I’m going to see if I can’t correct that. The existing archiving will pick up TeleRead.org, and I’ll tell LoC that I also want the .com version included. We started out as an .org , were a .com during and after corporate ownership, but are now a noncommercial .org again. A related advocacy site, LibraryCity.org, will also be archived.
Related: Chris Meadows on the shutdown of an Australian ebook Web site, which we predate. The Australian national library is archiving it.
Correction, Oct 18, 2016: I’ve fixed information about the domains to be included.
Image credit: Here.