LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Public Affairs Office
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington DC 20540-1610
phone (202) 707-2905
fax (202) 707-9199
e-mail [log in to unmask]
February 14, 2003
Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217, [log in to unmask]
LIBRARY ANNOUNCES APPROVAL OF PLAN TO PRESERVE AMERICA'S DIGITAL
Today the Librarian of Congress announced that the Library of Congress
has received approval from the U.S. Congress for its "Plan for the
National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program"
(NDIIPP), which will enable the Library to launch the initial phase of
BUILDING a national infrastructure for the collection and long-term
preservation of digital content.
"The Library of Congress is grateful for the continuing support that
Congress has given us by asking us to lead this critical program to
collect and preserve America's cultural and intellectual heritage in
digital formats for generations to come," said Librarian of Congress
James H. Billington. "Together with other federal agencies and the
library, archival, university and private sector communities, we will
work to develop a network of collaborative partners as well as a
technical architecture that will provide the framework for digital
Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives Laura Campbell is
overseeing this effort for the Library. "I echo Dr. Billington's
remarks and add that the Library of Congress has gained an enormous
amount of knowledge from its partners in this initiative. We look
forward to a continued successful collaboration as we work together to
preserve digital materials before they are forever lost."
Congressional approval of the "Plan for the National Digital Information
Infrastructure and Preservation Program," means the Library can move
forward with developing the details of the plan and Congress will
release FUNDS for the next phase of NDIIPP. The NDIIPP legislation asks
the Library to raise up to $75 million in private funds and in-kind
contributions, which Congress will match dollar-for-dollar.
In December 2000, Congress authorized the Library of Congress to develop
and execute a congressionally approved plan for a National Digital
Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. A $99.8 million
congressional appropriation was made to establish the program.
According to Conference Report (H. Rept. 106-1033), "The overall plan
should set forth a strategy for the Library of Congress, in
collaboration with other federal and nonfederal entities, to identify a
national network of libraries and other organizations with
responsibilities for collecting digital materials that will provide
access to and maintain those materials. ...
In addition to developing this strategy, the plan shall set forth, in
concert with the Copyright Office, the policies, protocols and
strategies for the long-term preservation of such materials, including
the technological infrastructure required at the Library of Congress."
The legislation mandates that the Library work with federal entities
such as the Secretary of Commerce, the Director of the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Archives and
Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine, the National
Agricultural Library, the National Institute of Standards and Technology
and "other federal, research and private libraries and institutions with
expertise in telecommunications technology and electronic commerce
policy." The goal is to build a network of committed partners working
through a preservation architecture of defined roles and
The Library of Congress digital strategy is being formulated in concert
with a study, commissioned by the Librarian of Congress, by the National
Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. "LC 21:
A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress" was issued July 26,
2000, and made several recommendations, including that the Library,
working with other institutions, take the lead in the preservation and
archiving of digital materials.
The complete text of the "Plan for the National Digital Information
Infrastructure and Preservation Program" is available at
www.digitalpreservation.gov. This includes an explanation of how the
plan was developed, who the Library worked with to develop the plan and
the key components of the digital preservation infrastructure.
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Through
its National Digital Library (NDL) Program, it is also one of the
leading providers of noncommercial intellectual content on the Internet
(www.loc.gov). The NDL Program's flagship American Memory project, in
collaboration with 36 institutions nationwide, makes freely available
millions of American historical items.
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