Jan. 7, 2008
UI election Web site to be included in Library of Congress collection
A University of Iowa Web site developed as a resource for journalists covering the 2008 presidential election will be preserved by the U.S. Library of Congress. The library is capturing weekly digitized snapshots of the site -- http://www.uiowa.edu/election -- for a collection of online records of the 2008 election.
Launched in April 2007 by the Office of University Relations (OUR), the site features news releases about Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) standings, the UI Hawkeye Poll and UI courses that tie into Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. It includes a history of the Iowa Caucuses, biographies, photos and contact information for UI political experts, and information about political events on campus. Graphics on the site illustrate day-to-day changes in the IEM. Links to stories in which UI political experts are quoted are added and archived daily.
Among the more popular content were the results of Hawkeye Polls of likely caucus-goers, conducted by UI political science professors David Redlawsk and Caroline Tolbert, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The more recent Hawkeye Poll, released Oct. 29, was the first in the country to show Republican Mike Huckabee coming out of nowhere to gain significant numbers in the Republican race, and Barack Obama cutting into Hillary Clinton's long-time lead in the Democratic race.
"For almost a year the caucuses made Iowa the center of the political world, and we knew this was a great opportunity to tout our political experts, who are among the top political and social scientists in the country, as well as the Iowa Electronic Markets," said Linda Kettner, OUR's associate director for public affairs and media relations. "The site, designed by the OUR Web unit and maintained by University News Services, has received incredibly positive feedback from journalists all over the world, and we're very pleased our efforts will be chronicled for historical purposes by the Library of Congress."
The Library of Congress is developing Web archives as part of the historical record of the country's national elections, capturing digital information that could otherwise be lost. The library's previous election Web archives are available at http://www.loc.gov/webcapture.
The UI site was selected for its educational content, which the Library of Congress believes will be of interest to political scientists, historians and other researchers who study elections, said Cassy Ammen, a reference specialist with the Library of Congress. The library is capturing data from 81 sites, including about six sites dedicated to the Iowa Caucuses. Ammen expects to add many more sites through the November elections, including secretary of states' sites, candidates' sites and sites dedicated to issues such as immigration.
"Our goal is to give a picture of what was happening on the Web," Ammen said. "Historians are already saying 'we've lost so many things that were only available on the Web.' The role of libraries has always been to document communications that we think people will want 50 or 100 years from now."
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070, firstname.lastname@example.org