Press Contact: John Sullivan (202) 707-9216, Lucy Suddreth (202) 707-9191
April 6, 1993
Remote Access to Library of Congress Computer Files Now Available
Computerized access to the vast resources of the world's largest library will improve dramatically on Friday, April 30. For the first time, more than 26 million Library of Congress records in 35 different files will become available to the general public on the Internet.
Previously, such access has been available only to researchers at the Library, Library staff, congressional offices, and selected institutions and agencies involved in cooperative programs with the Library of Congress.
The Internet is a non-profit collection of computer networks that links an estimated 20 million computer users in more than 100 countries. The Library of Congress requires no fee to search its files.
The host address for telnet access to the Library of Congress Information System (LOCIS) is locis.loc.gov (188.8.131.52) The Library supports both 3270 and line mode for access to its files.
LOCIS includes more than 15 million catalog records for books, microforms, music, audiovisuals, manuscripts, microcomputer software, serials, maps, name and subject references, and in- process items. LOCIS also contains citations to federal legislation (1973--), copyright registrations and legal documents (1978--), braille and recorded materials for those unable to read print, selected foreign legislation (1976--) and foreign legal references (1989--), and a listing of 13,000 organizations that provide information, arranged by subject.
Except for national holidays, LOCIS will be available for searching at the following times (Eastern time): Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.- 9:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Regional mid-level computer networks that participate in the Internet in the U.S. communicate over dedicated high-speed data lines managed, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Access to the Internet is provided through a variety of sources unrelated to the Library of Congress. These sources include computer centers in academic, business, and government organizations, library networks, commercial vendors and gateways, local entrepreneurs, electronic bulletin boards, and National Science Foundation regional networks.
Although the Library of Congress charges no fees for access to its files, many Internet access providers do charge fees to connect to Internet.
Individuals and organizations that do not already have access to the Internet should contact their local library for further information or call the InterNIC Information Services Referral Desk (1-800-444-4345), Monday through Friday 5 a.m.-7 p.m. (Pacific time), which can send a list of Internet access providers.
Complete instructions for searching LOCIS and for obtaining the LOCIS Quick Search Guide and LOCIS Reference Manual will be available on the initial screens presented to users upon connecting to LOCIS.
In recent testimony before Congress, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, "We believe the future holds the potential for the Library to play a significant role in enriching and upgrading local institutions of learning and research so that even those Americans far from great universities and the more affluent schools and libraries can still have access to the best of the nation's heritage and the latest up-to-date information."
The availability of selected Library of Congress computer files over the Internet is a major step toward the creation of an electronic "library without walls" as outlined in the Library's strategic plan for the year 2000, which was delivered to Congress last year.
Public information: (202) 707-3656
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