Library of Congress Announces Webcomics Archive

The Library of Congress has announced two new born-digital collections are now available – the Webcomics Web Archive and the Web Cultures Web Archive.

The Webcomics Web Archive focuses on comics created specifically for the web and supplements the Library’s extensive holdings in comic books, graphic novels and original comic art.

Webcomics selected for this collection include award-winning comics as well as webcomics that are significant for their longevity, reputation or subject matter. The collection includes sites such as Dinosaur Comics, Hyperbole and a Half, and XKCD. Also included are works by artists and subjects not traditionally represented in mainstream comics, including women artists and characters, artists and characters of color, LGBTQ+ artists and characters, as well as subjects such as politics, health and autobiography.

The Web Cultures Web Archive  is a representative sampling of websites documenting the creation and sharing of emergent cultural traditions on the web such as GIFs, memes and emoji. The project is part of the American Folklife Center, established by Congress to document traditional cultural forms and practices.

The effort will help scholars 25 and 100 years from now to have a fuller picture of the culture and life of people today. Sites included in the archive are Urban Dictionary, Internet Meme Database, Emojipedia and Boing Boing.

The Library collected and is displaying these sites with permission. Any further use by the public may also require permission.

The Library has been archiving select websites since 2000 and has now preserved more than a petabyte of web content, including collections of federal executive, legislative and judicial websites; sites of international governments; and national institutions such as the U.S. Olympic Committee and the American Red Cross.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States ­­— and extensive materials from around the world — both on site and online.