E-Net News

Library of Congress to include Imagining the Internet Web site

The United States Library of Congress has selected Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Web site for inclusion in its historic collections of Internet materials.

The library's traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and to the American people to foster education and scholarship, extend today to digital materials, including Web sites.

The extensive Imagining the Internet Web site (www.imaginingtheinternet.org) includes a historic database of predictions made between 1990 and 1995 about the future of networked communications, along with extensive video and written documentation of the Internet's evolution during the past decade.

The Library of Congress will engage in the collection of content from Imagining the Internet at regular intervals over time and make this collection available to researchers both onsite at library facilities and though the library's public Web site: http://www.loc.gov/webarchiving/.

By special arrangement, the Library may also make the Imagining the Internet collection available to scholarly research institutions for Web archive research. The LOC Web Archiving Team preserves Internet materials and offers access to researchers from across the world.

“Our Web Archives are important because they contribute to the historical record, capturing information that could otherwise be lost,” notes the request for permission to use Imagining the Internet content. “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.”

For additional information, see the Library’s Web Archiving Frequently Asked Questions page at: http://www.loc.gov/webarchiving/faq.html.

Imagining the Internet is an initiative of the School of Communications. Its mission is to explore and provide insights into emerging network innovations, global development, dynamics, diffusion and governance. The Imagining the Internet Center is a mostly volunteer effort funded by the university with additional support from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. It works to illuminate issues in order to serve the greater good, making its work public, free and open.

The center is a network of faculty, students, staff, alumni, advisers and friends working to identify, explore and engage with the challenges and opportunities of evolving communications forms and issues. They investigate the tangible and potential pros and cons of new-media channels through active research. Among the spectrum of issues addressed are power, politics, privacy, property, augmented and virtual reality, control and the rapid changes spurred by accelerating technology.

Imagining the Internet's Web site, includes more than 6,000+ pages with fascinating content:

  • This resource includes special explanatory sections on the future and past development of communications networks (Forward 150/Back 150).
  • It includes videos recorded at global conferences that reveal future hopes and challenges as expressed by hundreds of Internet leaders, including Vint Cerf, Douglas Engelbart and Robert Kahn (Visionaries Multimedia).
  • It has informative areas targeted to benefit children under 12 (KidZone), and to help teachers of elementary, middle school, high school and college students use the site to educate (Teachers' Tips)
  • It allows you to enjoy thousands of world citizens' discussions of our future – from top experts (Predictions Surveys) to your neighbor down the block or a computer programmer in Nigeria (Voices of the People).
  • The site shares a look back at what people were saying in the 1990s during the "awe" stage of the development of the internet (Early '90s Predictions Database).
  • And it records a legacy of predictive statements as they are made, continuously building a historic record of lasting value that documents the way we see ourselves as we move into an explosion of changes wrought by the combination of genetics, nanotechnology and robotics as they leverage our future networks.

Imagining the Internet sponsors work that brings people together to share their visions for the future of communications and the future of the world. The Imagining the Internet Center is directed by Janna Quitney Anderson, associate professor of communications.

Colin Donohue,
5/27/2010 4:50 PM