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Library of Congress
Report to the Digital Library Federation
July 15, 2000


  • Collections, Services, and Systems
  • Projects and Programs
  • Specific Digital Library Challenges

    I. Collections, Services, and Systems

    National Digital Library Program
    The Library of Congress currently conducts its digitization efforts primarily through the National Digital Library Program but also through several divisions in Library Services. Handling of "born digital" materials is managed in Library Services. The Library will soon be announcing a new Director for Electronic Resources within Library Services.

    Through the National Digital Library Program, the Library of Congress intends to have digitized 5 million items by the end of the year 2000. The National Digital Library Program is an effort to digitize and deliver electronically the distinctive, historical Americana holdings at the Library of Congress, including photographs, manuscripts, rare books, maps, recorded sound, and moving pictures. To achieve its goal, this unique public-private program, also works in cooperation with members of the Digital Library Federation and other libraries and archives throughout the United States. For example, digital collections from the LC/Ameritech Digital Library Competition are included.

    The American Memory Historical Collections, a major component of the Library's National Digital Library Program, are multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text from the Library's Americana collections. There are currently over 70 collections in the American Memory Historical Collections.

    For more information on the NDLP and the American Memory historical collections see:

    II. Projects and Programs

    A. Outreach and Access

    Implement production level collaborative global reference service and expand membership
    To launch a 24 hour reference service in collaboration with libraries.

    Develop Geographic Information System (GIS) services for Congress based on FY00 prototypes
    This includes plans to develop services based on FY2000 prototypes. We will also be installing geospatial search capabilities in our ILS for all cataloged materials, including digital cartographic materials.

    Enhance scan-on-demand and copy services in Photoduplication
    This includes scanning maps in our Geography & Map Division to customers of our Photoduplication Services. As part of this activity, the Library will be logging standards used and agreements for coordination requirements, etc. The Library also hopes to enhance service to supply not-previously-scanned digital images (on-demand) via ftp, CD, or print.

    Begin migration to new model for audio and visual cybercasting
    Expand and enhance ECIP to 1500 publishers
    This target would increase electronic cataloging-in-publication (ECIP) and involve units throught the Cataloging Directorate in cataloging these materials.

    Expand bibliographic control of electronic resources and broaden staff involvement
    Several projects here include expanding the cataloging of tangible electronic resources to all cataloging divisions, increasing the coverage of the services to the business community to possibly add Hispanic resources, to have the Library actively participating in the OCLC CORC project, to improve the displays in many of our EAD finding aids, etc.

    B. Content

    Evaluate "born digital" models and continue experimentation
    This refers to experiments with publishers, Web preservation, etc. and developing drafts for "best edition" policies with Copyright.

    Implement successor digitizing program
    For a permanent National Digital Library Program in some form.

    Fulfill NDL commitments for identifying and digitizing
    Primarily commitments within the American Memory project, such as maps, music, photos, etc.

    Expand Frontiers project
    To continue the Russian pilot and expand to digitizing American material and possibly an Hispanic pilot.

    C. Infrastructure and Preservation

    Support TEAMS testing
    Continuing FY2000 pilot projects, exploring the use of this digital asset management tool from Artesia for a wide range of materials (sound recordings, digital images, electronic journals, electronic finding aids, etc.) and further development of related metadata sets.

    Implement research and testing plan for preservation of digital material
    This includes testing CD-ROM and CD-audio media longevity, explorations into the design and testing of secure offline copy formats and procedures, including procedures for hand-off of digital products for archiving.

    Begin development of production Culpeper system
    Which includes digital archiving of motion pictures, broadcasting, and recorded sound materials at the forthcoming National Audio-Visual Preservation Center.

    Fully deploy digital library help and support structures
    To provide front line automation support.

    Publish digital standards used and promote collaborative agreement
    Expanding use of the handle server, working on international development of handles, and completing collaborative conversion of MARC DTD to XML.

    Develop or officially adopt supporting standards
    Including SGML/XML support, WebBraille for ADA accessibility, and working with the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) on the Open EBook standard.

    III. Specific Digital Library Challenges

    As part of its digital program, the Library has participated in several electronic standards setting efforts, including MARC 21, Dublin Core, W3C, ISSN, the Conference of Directors of National Libraries Persistent Identifiers Subcommittee, the IFLA Study Group on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, and NISO (including the recent Ad Hoc Group on the International Standard Textual Work Code (ISTC)). The Library staff have been following carefully the activities of the IETF's URN Task Force, INDECS, DOI, and the Open E-Book Forum. The decisions made by these groups will play a significant role in joint Library-Copyright Office work to set new standards for electronic "best editions" deposited for Copyright.

    Please send comments or suggestions.
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    © 2000 Council on Library and Information Resources

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