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DLF Aquifer Receives Mellon Grant
to Make Scholarly Collections Interoperable
 
Washington, D.C.≠The Digital Library Federation (DLF) has received an $816,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project designed to make distributed digital collections easier for scholars to use. The project, DLF Aquifer Development for Interoperability Across Scholarly Repositories: American Social History Online, will implement schemas, data models, and technologies to enable scholars to use digital collections as one in a variety of local environments.

DLF Board President Carol A. Mandel said, "This project exemplifies the goals of the Digital Library Federation to support the work of scholars through rich, federated, and enduring digital library collections and is integral to our expectations for Aquifer. We are grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for helping DLF realize its aspirations."

"DLF is delighted to obtain the support of the Mellon Foundation to pursue the development of applications that help people knit together the information and content they seek for their scholarship and learning," said DLF Executive Director Peter Brantley. "The Aquifer project will deliver the collaborative experience that libraries need as we start to realize new ways of providing services to our communities," he added.

"The Andrew W. Mellon Foundationís support for Aquifer is gratifying," said DLF Aquifer Director Katherine Kott. "Aquifer participant libraries are building systems that will enable libraries to deliver important resources to scholars where they do their work."                                                                                
The project will address the difficulty that humanities and social science scholars face in finding and using digital materials located in a variety of environments with a bewildering array of interfaces, access protocols, and usage requirements.  DLF Aquifer seeks to provide scholars with consistent access to digital library collections pertaining to nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. social history across institutional boundaries.  The collections are in a variety of formats and include maps and photographs from the Library of Congress historical collections; sheet music from the Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music at Indiana University; and an array of regional collections, such as Michigan County Histories from the University of Michigan and Tennessee Documentary History from the University of Tennessee, that will facilitate cross-regional studies when combined.

By integrating American Social History Online into a variety of local environments, the project will bring the library to the scholar and make distributed collections available through locally supported tools. The project will take two years to develop and implement, from April 2007 to March 2009.

The Digital Library Federation, founded in 1995, is a partnership organization of academic libraries and related organizations that are pioneering the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and services. Through its strategic and allied members, DLF provides leadership for libraries by identifying standards and "best practices" for digital collections and network access; coordinating research and development in the libraries' use of technology; and incubating projects and services that libraries need but cannot develop individually. More information about DLF is available at http://www.diglib.org/.

DLF is a distributed, networked organization, with central services housed at the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the DLF Executive Director based at the University of California, Berkeley, and the DLF Aquifer Director based at Stanford University. CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the management of information for research, teaching, and learning. More information about CLIR is available at http://www.clir.org/.