Collection development guidelines for social media archiving

As part our project supported by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, we have developed guidelines on collection development for social media archiving programs. We are pleased to present this resource, “Building Social Media Archives: Collection Development Guidelines”.

Although there are many technical methods for collecting social media, these guidelines are particularly concerned with approaches that capture the underlying data behind social media platforms, via platforms’ APIs. Such approaches present both a powerful potential for documenting a record of our cultural heritage, as well as a challenging set of legal, ethical, technical, and programmatic needs and norms.

This document seeks to surface issues potentially facing cultural heritage institutions and guide those institutions through a series of questions to consider and, where appropriate, to develop explicit policies to address these issues.

Development of the guidelines was led by Christie Peterson, Vakil Smallen, Rachel Trent, with contributions from Elisabeth Kaplan, Dan Kerchner, Justin Littman, and Laura Wrubel.

We welcome your feedback via email to or reply to us on Twitter at @SocialFeedMgr.