Internet Archive’s Trump Archive launches today

The Trump Archive launches today with 700+ televised speeches, interviews, debates, and other news broadcasts related to President-elect Donald Trump, created using the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive.

A work in progress, the growing collection now includes more than 520 hours of Trump video. The earliest excerpt dates from December 2009, and the collection continues through the present. It includes more than 500 video statements fact checked by, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker covering such controversial topics as immigration, Trump’s tax returns, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and health care.

Full list of fact checks with links to video statements in TV News Archive.
Note: We are working to update this spreadsheet with improved links. Stay tuned.

Visit the Trump Archive.

Reporters, researchers, Wikipedians, and the general public are invited to quote, compare and contrast televised statements made by Trump.

  • Use clips in your articles and videos.
  • Create supercuts on topics like Trump’s perspectives of the US press, made with our online “Popcorn” video editor.  
  • Let us know what content we are missing.  
  • If you have the technical resources, help us enhance search and discovery by collaborating in experiments to apply artificial intelligence-driven facial recognition, voice identification, and other video content analysis approaches.
  • How would you like to use such an archive?  Comment below, or write us

Why a Trump Archive?

We draw on this material, and our experience with building the successful Political TV Ad Archive, to 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.

In response to requests by our fact checking partners on the Political TV Ad Archive project and other media, we hope to provide assistance for those tracking Trump’s evolving statements on public policy issues.

For example: in July 2016, Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “I have no relationship with Putin…I don’t think I’ve ever met him.” Stephanopoulos pressed him on this point during the interview, saying that Trump had previously claimed a relationship with him. PolitiFact ruled this statement by Trump as a “full flip flop”: “Trump’s denial of a relationship with Putin contradicted what he had said on multiple previous occasions.”

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. The Trump Archive can also serve as a rich treasure trove of video material for any creative use: comedy, art, documentaries, wherever people’s inspiration takes them.

We consider the Trump Archive to be an experimental model for creating similar archives for other public officials. For example, we’ll explore the idea of creating curated collections for Trump’s nominees to head federal agencies; members of Congress of both parties (for example, perhaps the Senate and House majority and minority leadership); Supreme Court nominees, and so on.

While we’ve largely hand-curated this collection, we hope to collaborate with researchers to apply machine intelligence to expand this collection, building others and making search of our entire TV library vastly more efficient.

Such experimentation builds on our experience with first prototyping and then developing the the Political TV Ad Archive. Our first collection of political TV ads, covering ads aired in Philadelphia during the 2014 mid-term elections, was built largely by hand. However, in preparation for the Political TV Ad Archive, we created a new open source tool, the Duplitron, that was able to identify ad airings by deploying audio fingerprinting. During the course of the project, we collected nearly 3,000 ads and documented more than 364,000 ad airings.

Why now?

Just because something is broadcast or posted on the internet doesn’t mean it’s forever. 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.

The Internet Archive’s core mission is to preserve and make accessible our cultural heritage. For example, the Wayback Machine preserves websites over time, so if pages or sites are deleted, they can still be found. For example, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC reported on how the president-elect had deleted a web page from the official transition website that had touted Trump properties.

We also preserve political and news content through the TV News Archive, which contains news broadcasts by major networks back to 2009, searchable via closed captioning. The Political TV Ad Archive archives 2016 election ads along with relevant fact checks and follow-the-money reporting by our journalism partners. Our Political Campaign web archive is preserving election-related online media, such as select candidate and political groups’ websites and Twitter and Instagram feeds.

What’s next

The Trump Archive is a work in progress; we will continue to refine the content. We hope to work with others to broaden the materials available, to make search more efficient, and otherwise make it more useful for the public. We’d like you feedback and suggestions.

The great American author William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” We believe that the Trump Archive, in preserving the past, can help the public engage more knowledgeably with our future.

Many thanks to the thoughtful contributions of Robin Chin, Jessica Clark, Katie Dahl, Katie Donnelly, John Gonzalez, Wendy Hanamura, Tracey Jaquith, Jeff Kaplan, Roger Macdonald, Ralf Muehlen, Craig Newmark, Sylvia Paull, Alexis Rossi, Dan Schultz, Nancy Watzman, our Partners & Funders and the Vanderbilt Television News Archive – on whose shoulders we stand.

About Nancy Watzman

Nancy Watzman is Managing Editor, Television Archive.
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35 Responses to Internet Archive’s Trump Archive launches today

  1. Sustaining Donor Who Is Getting Tired of The Transparent Political Side-Taking says:

    I noticed that this article didn’t include a link to the Obama Archive… could you please share that?

    While it’s great for us to have access to this information regarding our President-elect, it seems just as (or even more?) important for academics and the public to have systematic access to the same information about the President for the last 8 years.

    Why was a project of this nature not a priority before the election of Donald Trump? loses credibility as a public resource that impartially serves the public when the timing and choice of its projects seems political in nature. The hysterical tone of recent emails combined with this project creates the appearance of partisanship, which a library that serves the whole public should steadfastly avoid.

    • Roger Macdonald says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment! We don’t mean to be taking sides by opening up this experimental Trump Archive. As we wrote above: “We consider the Trump Archive to be an experimental model for creating similar archives for other public officials.”

      We used professional journalist fact checks of the President-elect as “signals” that particular speeches or interviews were noteworthy, whether or not his statements were validated. Additional televised Trump content is also included. The collection is a work in progress and we expect to work towards making it more comprehensive, in part through well meaning recommendations from folks like you.

      This Trump Archive is largely hand-curated, a non-scalable approach. With this example, we hope to attract support and creative collaborations that will lead to more collections about public officials, whatever their parties.

      We are very interested in experimenting with others to apply artificial intelligence approaches to enable any user to more efficiently create collections accompanied by rich structured metadata that can aid search engine discovery and rich contextualization links to other media resources.

      We take you concern for the appearance of partisanship to heart, and hope to dispel such interpretations by word and deed.

      • Larry Press says:

        One can justify starting with Trump because he, not Obama, is the future president. Had the experiment begun during the campaign, Clinton and Trump archives would have been valuable.

        Is there a possibility doing speech recognition on the videos to produce imperfect, but searchable transcripts?

    • Jon says:

      As a sustaining donor, you should know that there is no Obama Archive (yet). Or were you just being snarky?

      You make some valid points, and I also hope to see an Obama Archive in the future. Or what about a George W. Bush Archive? Bill Clinton, anyone? Obviously, they had to start somewhere, and I think the rise of fake news, as well as Trump’s propensity to lie and ignore facts, motivated the Internet Archive to initiate a Trump Archive. I agree with them that it’s important. According to, only 15% of Trump’s statements were true or mostly true, compared to 51% for Hilary Clinton and 48% for Obama.

      The Internet Archive could do a better job of communicating the reasons for this initiative and avoiding the appearance of partiality, but as a long-time user and recent donor (not even sustaining, whatever that means LoL), I fully support this initiative.

    • Mike H. says:

      We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that creating this archive involved hand-curating hundreds of videos, annotating & organizing them, providing an interface, and much more. It must have taken an *incredible* amount of work. Personally, I have to believe they would love to do the same for other administrations as well, but just haven’t gotten to them.

    • Justin says:

      The immediate purpose of a focused archive like this about a public official is to hold them to account for the promises and statements they made, while they still have the power to fulfill the promises and the prospect of being punished in future elections for ill-advised statements. While an Obama-focused archive would be nice to have, as a practical matter it’s simply too late to hold him to account for anything because he’s almost out the door anyway and won’t be running for office again.

      That said, the Internet Archive is in fact working aggressively to archive the outgoing administration, as detailed in a post here last month:

    • Allison Tripp says:

      I would love to see an archive for president Obama and Mrs Obama too

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  3. John Vos Post says:

    Is it possible to add his tweets to this archive?

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  8. Larry Press says:

    I love it!

    I’m a professor and have done two recent blog posts on the IA in the age of Trump for my students:

    I also have a growing PowerPoint presentation on the role of the Internet in politics since his nomination:

    Probably nothing you don’t already have, but feel free to use any of it.


  9. Tom says:

    I would like to thank Roger Macdonald, for his quick and articulate comment.

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  12. Tyler says:

    Bravo. The archive is about transparency and accountability.

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  16. Sean says:

    Triumphant cultural rejection of knowledge is actually rather common, you will certainly find groups in any society where it exists.
    Ignorance is to be unchallenged, ignorance is bliss, and ignorance is to be on your knees.
    With 50% of your population involved in a revolt against reason you are in trouble regardless of who’s in office.

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  24. Tina Marie F says:

    I cannot thank you enough for putting together the Trump Archives. I have a site on G+ Donald Trump Lies and Republican Lies.. I also post under public and have had 9 million views since I started October 2015. The reason why I started posting is because I wanted to expose the truth about Trump’s lies. He is a pathological liar and cant stop lying. The reporter for the Sun has post Trumps 560 lies he told just during his campaign. He has conned his supporters. The irony is that Trump called Clinton a liar and crooked. Trump’s history is proof that Trump is the corrupt candidate and his supporters ignored this. I am sure that Trump will break the law as soon as he is sworn in, he’s been breaking laws for years.

    I will watch the video’s and post them on my G+ page. Right now I have about 4,000 daily followers and approximately 100,000 readers a day.

    Again I commend you on your work. . You are awesome!!

  25. David Lubin says:

    President Trump will, without doubt, go down in history as the greatest president who ever served. Your efforts to preserve his words are to be commended.

  26. David Lubin says:

    Thank you for preserving the words of the man who will go down in history as a great, if not the greatest, modern day president.

  27. Mel Beckman says:

    As a registered, government funded non-profit organization, you’d think would be prohibited from this sort of partisan political activity.

  28. Ganesha says:

    Is there any archive with spanish speeches? Thanks

  29. Sustaining Donor Who Is Getting Tired of The Transparent Political Side-Taking says:

    As the OP, I want to thank Roger Macdonald for his response. I agree with another poster that my comment contained a little bit of snark, but I hope that it was taken in the spirit it was intended.

    From my perspective, the Archive has been communicating (on multiple fronts) that it is far more scared of what a Trump administration might do than it was of what an Obama administration already has done. This seems odd given the archive’s negative experience with the Obama administration, and this oddness can feed a perception of political partisanship.

    As mentioned in my first comment, I think it is crucial that the Archive avoid even the mere perception of improper political side taking if it is to both serve and win the support of the entire public.

    I obviously agree with the goal of documenting politicians in this manner, and hope that the enthusiasm and manual work required in this pilot project can be replaced with a lower overhead semi-automated approach.

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