The U.S. Library of Congress announced this morning via its official Twitter account that it will be acquiring the entire archive of Twitter messages back through March 2006. In addition to a massive printed collection, the Library already has an extensive collection of other digital assets. The Library of Congress is the biggest library in the world.
The Library does extensive work with data format standards, the semantic Web and other platforms for outside analysis. The addition of Twitter into the organization's offerings could foster an enormous amount of academic research. From a new kind of historical record to an unprecedented opportunity for discovering patterns of social interaction, this is big.