“The history of libraries is one of loss. Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines: earthquakes, legal regimes, institutional failure.”
– Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian at Internet Archive
On January 20th, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. That same day, the official White House website (whitehouse.gov) began the digital transition to archive and replace Obama’s policies with those of the new administration. Immediately, people began to notice that key issues such as health care, education, and immigration were nowhere to be found. Keyword searches for terms such as “climate change,” “LGBT,” and “civil rights” all returned 404 errors. Even more conspicuously, the Spanish-language version and the disabled-accessible version of the site were no longer available.
Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library that has been archiving webpages since 1996, captured 167 snapshot of whitehouse.gov that day. This book records the last snapshots taken of Obama’s policies before they came down, the 404 errors that followed, as well as the Internet Archive timestamps for when the information was last available and when it disappeared.
Letterpress printed accordion on Masa paper with sumi wash and hand brayering.
6.5 x 4.25 x .25 inches (closed)
13 x 42.5 x .25 inches (open)
Variable Edition of 60