From Laura Gottesman, Library of Congress, DIGLIB mailing list:
"The Library of Congress has just launched a Web site devoted to information about its program to capture and preserve historically important Web sites so that they can be accessed by future generations of users. The site is available at www.loc.gov/webcapture.
The Library of Congress and libraries and archives around the world are interested in collecting and preserving content on the Web because an ever-increasing amount of the world's cultural and intellectual output is created in digital formats and does not exist in any physical form. Creating an archives of Web sites supports the goals of the Library's Digital Strategic Plan, announced in March 2003, which focuses on the collection and management of digital content.
The Web Capture Program is directly related to the Library's larger digital preservation program, called the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. The subject areas in which the Library has been collecting Web sites include recent Supreme Court nominations; Hurricane Katrina; and the papal transition following the death of John Paul II. Current collecting projects include the crisis in Darfur, Sudan; the Iraq War; and the upcoming Election 2006.
The Library collects Web sites only after it has received formal permission from Web site content owners to do so. Some of the Web sites captured by the Library and its partners are currently available by accessing the "Projects" section of the site. As part of the Web Capture Program, the "Technical Background" section of the Web site notes that the Library, in conjunction with its partners, is working on developing a common set of Web capture tools in four areas: curator selection, verification and permissions; acquisition; collection storage and maintenance; and access."