Should Prince’s Tweets Be in a Museum?
In an article in The Atlantic (5 July 2016), Sonia Weiser questions whether there is value in preserving records of artists’ and writers’ social media activity.
She writes: “Archivists are figuring out which pieces of artists’ digital lives to preserve alongside letters, sketchbooks, and scribbled-on napkins”.
“Should famous artists’ social-media profiles be saved? Archiving their digital materials would follow the tradition of old-school paper archives, the ones that are responsible for maintaining collections like hundreds of Emily Dickinson’s letters, notes from Mary Shelley that show her succumbing to a brain tumor, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s working drafts and photographs. If journals, sketchbooks, letters, and scribbled-on napkins are venerated and kept for insights into great minds, there seems to be a case that tweets should be held onto, too. Then again, publicly accessible 140-character bursts can be so frivolous—and based so much on maintaining appearances—that they might seem like they don’t offer anything worth preserving.”
Read the full article.