Home Library of Congress Gets a Mobile App

Library of Congress Gets a Mobile App

Last week, an approved application that gives mobile users access to the United States Library of Congress Experience went live in the iTunes App Store. The app is compatible with iOS 3.1 on up and will run on the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

The new app (iTunes link) won’t provide avid Twitter users access to their archived tweets just yet, unfortunately, nor will it enable mobile users to go deep into the digitized archives of the world’s largest library, but it will extend the award-winning virtual experience to tens of millions of mobile users.

The app is only the latest of numerous digital initiatives at the Library of Congress, including steps to preserve digital maps, teaming up with Flickr or agreements with other Web 2.0 services.

Three Library of Congress staff designed the app working part-time, said Matt Raymond, director of communications for the Library of Congress, in an email interview. “Doing it in-house makes a cost approximation quite difficult,” he said.

When users download the free app, they can take a virtual tour of the library and its collections. The app joins the efforts the Library of Congress has already made at myLOC.gov, where users can collect historical artifacts in a customized page.

Each section of the app has tabs for video, audio, pictures and related links to external sites. My iPhone 4 was able to quickly download and play a beautiful video short on Thomas Jefferson after an easy install and sync.

While the offerings on the Library of Congress are limited, relative to the immense collections housed in the main archives, students and curious citizens now have a lightweight, free options to learn more about their nation’s history. The release of the app won’t change the nature of fair use in the United States but it will enlighten an increasingly mobile population.

Raymond said that they are looking at other mobile platforms for the app but have no plans at this time to port it over. Although Raymond said that it’s unlikely that Library of Congress will add more resources to the app, they’re working on other applications that will feature additional resources. “The wealth of digital content in the Library and the accelerating growth in the mobile Web suggest a need to continue exploring these areas,” he said.

Guest author Alexander B. Howard (@digiphile) will be reporting live from the upcoming Gov2.0 Summit in Washington, D.C., on September 7-8.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.