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Slide decks as government publications: exploring two decades of PowerPoint files archived from US government websites


Over the last three decades, US government agencies have published hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of PowerPoint files on the web. Hundreds of thousands of these files have been captured and preserved in web archives. With that noted, it remains difficult to find and interact with these files. This paper analyzes a public dataset of 1,000 PowerPoints from US government websites in the Library of Congress web archives to explore the properties of these kinds of files. This publicly available dataset published in 2019 includes a random sample of a thousand files from the more than 300,000 files that purport a PowerPoint media type in the Library of Congress web archives. The study focuses on characterizing the nature of these publications, the extent to which embedded metadata in these documents could be used to improve access to them and exploring what properties of these files are likely to be important to future users. Exploring these data provides a means to begin to understand the value and nature of PowerPoint files as a format of government publishing and government records.

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Appendix of Archived PowerPoint Presentations

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This paper is only possible as a result of the work of the Library of Congress Web Archiving team to produce and publish the web archive file datasets.

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Correspondence to Trevor Owens.

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Owens, T., Estess, J. Slide decks as government publications: exploring two decades of PowerPoint files archived from US government websites. Arch Sci (2022).

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  • Web archives
  • Government publications
  • Significant properties
  • Digital preservation