American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Library of Congress Receives 911 Digital Archive

Published March 24, 2011
The 911 Digital Archive working groups
The 911 Digital Archive working groups from The Graduate Center, George Mason University and the Library of Congress gathered for this photo op at the celebration. Also shown is Graduate Center President Frances Degen Horowitz and Provost William Kelly, and George Mason University's Dean Daniele Strupa and Library of Congress Director for Public Service Collections Diane Kresh.

The September 11 Digital Archive – a joint endeavor of ASHP/CML and George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media — has partnered with the Library of Congress (LC) to insure the long-term preservation of the Archive’s holdings. The Library’s accessioning of the collection represents the first major digital acquisition in that institution’s history.

On Sept. 10, 2003 the LC formally accepted the collection, which contains more than 135,000 written accounts, e-mails, audio recordings, video clips, photographs, websites, and other materials that document the attacks and their aftermath. To mark the donation, the Library hosted a daylong symposium, “September 11 as History: Collecting Today for Tomorrow,” featuring reports and commentary by leading U.S. historians, librarians, archivists, as well as by Josh Brown, ASHP’s executive director, and Fritz Umbach, the Archive’s co-director. Excerpts from the event were broadcast over C-SPAN during Fall 2003.

Fritz Umbach
911 Digital Archive Project Director Fritz Umbach

The Archive is the largest digital collection of September 11-related materials, serving as the Smithsonian Institution’s designated repository for digital objects related to the attacks. These digital materials offer a wide spectrum of international opinions and perspectives, ranging from recordings of Manhattan residents’ voice mails on the morning of September 11 to digital commentary culled from organizations in the Middle East . The availability of these materials in the Library of Congress will prove invaluable to future historians and researchers.

Latest ASHP News