library of congress to archive electronic literature (suggest a link)

The Electronic Literature Organization seeks your assistance in selecting “works of imaginative writing that take advantage of the capabilities of the standalone or networked computer” for preservation by the LOC and Internet Archive:

The Library of Congress has asked the Electronic Literature Organization to collect a sample of 300 web sites related to the field and to contribute that sample to the Internet Archive’s Archive-It project. The sites selected will be crawled and archived to the extent that the Archive-It technology allows. The result will be full-text searchable collections of the spidered HTML files in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The ELO will enter metadata including a short description and keywords for each URL entered into the database. The ELO Board of Directors, Literary Advisory Board, membership, and community are encouraged to suggest sites here for three sets of links.
-? Electronic Literature: Collections of Works: Sites that aggregate works of electronic literature by multiple authors, such as online journals and anthologies.
-? Electronic Literature: Individual Works: Individual works of electronic literature and collections of works by a single author, as opposed to collections of works by multiple authors.
-? Electronic Literature: Context: Sites related to the critical, theoretical, and institutional contexts of electronic literature.

More info on how to suggest links at the ELO wiki.

7 thoughts on “library of congress to archive electronic literature (suggest a link)

  1. Scott Rettberg

    Although there are no language restrictions, the project is specifically to archive types of literature that use the networked or standalone computer in media-specific ways. Print-based works of writing that are simply published in PDF or a similar ebook format, web sites that publish traditional poetry or fiction as html, podcasts or other audio readings of print literature should not go in this database. For some examples of the types of forms we mean, see “What is Electronic Literature” here:
    While the projects you list are interesting and worthwhile, they wouldn’t fit the criteria for this project, not because of the language, but because of the form.
    I think using the network as a distribution for any type of creative writing is a worthy endeavor, but the scope of ELO’s advocacy is limited to works that somehow take advantage of the particularities of the digital medium.

  2. L. V. Mountweazel

    Does this project strike anyone else as antithetical to the attributes of “electronic literature”? Why archive websites? Isn’t that a bit like printing them out and publishing them?

  3. Scott Rettberg

    The only attribute of electronic literature it’s antithetical to is its ephemerality. The sites are archived electronically, not in print. The concern of the Library of Congress, and the Internet Archive in a larger sense is preserving a part of our cultural heritage, which comes in more forms than print. Choosing not to archive digital artifacts now would be the equivalent choosing not archive printed books around the time of Gutenberg, because they were somehow a lesser form than those handmade codex books we knew and loved so well. The other advantage of archiving digital texts in this way is that the Internet Archive crawls them repeatedly over time so that, for instance, we can have a record of how a particular web project changes over time.

  4. gary frost

    We have no video tapes of the early print shops and few interviews with Guttenberg. Such voids are more typical of the past than the coverage of documentation. Then there is the atrophy and glossing of what little documentation is conveyed. Its a weird transaction.
    Another echo here is the mimicry of mansuscript by early typography. As an agenda it soon became irrelevant. Likewize, the digital archival programs and their electronic technologies must focus on persistent media and electrical current continuities that do not directly mimic paper archives. Now we are talking about social agendas and rituals of preservation. These appear somewhat more endangered and so influence the platform for the value of preservation. Books were printed with the intent of formal transmission forward. Electronic communication is posted with anticipation of engagement and response.

  5. Sandy Gates

    Recommending a book title: The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Obama Age This book covers Egypt’s modern history since 1952 with chronology of Ancient Egyptian history to the present day
    • Publisher: Beacon Press (July 22, 2009)
    • ISBN-13: 978-0615300702

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