The Internet Archive, an archival cornucopia housed in a former Christian Science church at Clement and Funston in the Richmond, made a splash yesterday when it announced an ambitious new project: to assemble a searchable record of every Donald Trump statement captured on video.
The inauguration of the Trump Archive, announced by the nonprofit yesterday, comes with an initial 520 hours of footage from Trump's speeches, ads, debates, interviews, and other broadcasts dating back to 2009. And it's just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the Archive, the new collection will "create a curated collection of material related to Trump, with an emphasis on fact-checked statements. The video is searchable, quotable, and shareable on social media."
The Internet Archive's statement goes on: "By providing a free and enduring source for TV news broadcasts of Trump’s statements, the Internet Archive hopes to make it more efficient for the media, researchers, and the public to track Trump’s statements while fact-checking and reporting on the new administration."
And, in case you thought the resource was geared solely towards journalistic use, the Archive also suggests the catalog's potential as "a rich treasure trove of video material for any creative use: comedy, art, documentaries, wherever people’s inspiration takes them."
The collection will continue to grow, the Internet Archive stated, and accumulate a more comprehensive body of footage. "Just because something is broadcast or posted on the internet doesn’t mean it’s forever," the Archive states. "Reporters and the public may take it for granted that a news story or a piece of broadcast video is only a google search away, but as newspapers, companies, and organizations fail and change, often vital information is lost. The web is far more fragile than is generally understood."