Reimagining the Archive in 2013: A Timeline

Screenshot of Subject Headings Scraped from DPLA Metadata

The Library is Open:
A Screenshot of Subject Headings Scraped from the DPLA’s Freely Downloadable Metadata

This timeline ( summarizes some of the significant events that took place in the history of libraries, archives, and museums during the period from January to May 2013. Many of these events relate simply to the launch of new resources—whether big or small, traditional or more innovative—including online archives, research tools, and portals. Other events on the timeline, however, are tied more closely to national and international headlines, such as the reports of a burned library in Timbuktu that accompanied the retreat of rebel forces from the city; the launch of the Digital Public Library of America, which went forward online despite bombings that had taken place only days before, leading to the cancelation of the public launch ceremony; and the founding of the Aaron Swartz digital archive, which was undertaken shortly after the internet activist’s arrest on charges of unauthorized downloading of copyrighted materials, and his subsequent tragic suicide. So while the trend over the past four months might seem to lead toward an ever increasing openness, only one thing is truly certain: the future is never guaranteed.

–Josh Westgard


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