Documenting the Now Supporting Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content


This session was presented at the CNI Fall 2016 Project Briefings. 

The dramatic rise in the public’s use of social media to document events of historical significance presents archivists and others who build primary source research collections with a unique opportunity to transform appraisal, collecting, preservation and discovery of this new type of research data. The Documenting the Now project aims to address these opportunities by creating a cloud-ready, open-source application, called DocNow, for collecting tweets and their associated web content and metadata, with mechanisms for export and visualization to facilitate use of a large social media data set and the incorporation of these data into local digital preservation systems. This project briefing will cover aspects of technical development as well as ethical, copyright, and access issues surrounding the collection, preservation and dissemination of Twitter data. Documenting the Now is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as a collaborative grant to Washington University in St. Louis, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of California, Riverside.

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