I am wrapping up this year on a high-note with a truly unexpected honor – inclusion of our blog in the Library of Congress archives.
The United States Library of Congress has selected your website for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. We consider your website to be an important part of this collection and the historical record.
The Library of Congress preserves important cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them. The Library’s traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to foster education and scholarship, extend to digital materials, including websites. 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.
As I understand, this site is one of about 180 chosen for the archive at this point in time. This does not mean you can find all of my content on the LOC website. It means a ‘scrape’ of the site from certain points of time will be preserved there along with the relevant details should anyone wish to dive into the actual blog. I will still need to preserve the actual complete archive – a daunting task.
My site will not actually appear in the archive proper for a year after scraping, but I have discovered some preliminary scrapes you might find interesting here.
A big year for us – winning a national award from GLAAD, being voted Best Local blog by Pittsburghers, and now this. On December 29, we’ll celebrate 14 years of blogging. Imagine what we can accomplish in the next 14 years?
I shake my fist often about the lack of LGBTQ-centric archival efforts – it is not cheap to keep 5,000+ blog posts plus supporting materials alive and accessible. My friend and colleague Bob Witeck had this to say to help me find perspective.
I am gratified that the LOC is also actively preserving more and more of our history and records, including digital narratives and websites. We must be part of the nation’s story, not exclusively isolated in our own archives – as valuable as they are. The added benefit of course is that these national archives, both the Library and Smithsonian, already are supported by our federal taxes. They always have. Leaving us out is one more indignity and form of unacceptable discrimination.
Over this past decade, we can celebrate this long-awaited transformation that connects all of our truths with the truths that shaped American history.
It is an honor to have our work recognized in this context, to represent the LGBTQ community and Pittsburgh in a national archive. I created #AMPLIFY to intentionally archive LGBTQ stories and doing so helped me to gradually understand how all of the blog content documents the early 21st century LGBTQ experience.
It is my hope that any LGBTQ person with ties to Western Pennsylvania who is reading this will be inspired to share their story through the AMPLIFY archive Q&A. It is more than a simple sharing, it is an act of resistance and defiance of a Presidential Administration that is systemically erasing us from our very lives. Claiming our stories, our histories is one way to resist.
You can also help us celebrate this accomplishment and accolade as well as continue our work.
PayPal.Me – one time donations!
So in one years time, the scrapes of my site will be publicly available in the LGBTQ+ archive. You can see the general scrapes now at this link. Here’s an example: