Today’s guest post is from Tracee Haupt, a Digital Collection Specialist in the Digital Content Management section at the Library of Congress.
On the twentieth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I asked four individuals who were part of the creation of the September 11, 2001 Web Archive to reflect on their experience documenting the tragedy and the unique contents of the collection.
In addition to the archive’s historical significance as a record of how a variety of individuals and organizations responded to September 11th, the collection is also important as an example of an early web archiving project, when both the internet and the Library of Congress’ (LC) efforts to preserve it were still relatively new.
In this post, current and former Library employees describe how the collection came to be, what they learned while creating it, and why preserving this aspect of internet history was crucial to fully understanding the impact of September 11th.
Those words were repeated in millions of homes on Sept. 11, 2001.
Friends and relatives took to the telephone: Something awful was happening. You have to see. Before social media and with online news in its infancy, the story of the day when terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people unfolded primarily on television.
Even some people inside New York’s World Trade Center made the phone call. They felt a shudder, could smell smoke. Could someone watch the news and find out what was happening?
Most Americans were guided through the unimaginable by one of three anchors: Tom Brokaw of NBC News, Peter Jennings of ABC and Dan Rather of CBS.