Press Contacts: Jill Brett (202) 707-2905
Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

September 27, 1994

Library of Congress Announces Major Donations To Establish National Digital Library

Grants and Gifts Make Digitization of Collections Possible

WHEN: Thursday, October 13, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Atrium, First Floor, James Madison Memorial Building First and Independence Ave. S.E.

WHO: Librarian of Congress James H. Billington; John Kluge, president of Metromedia and chairman of the Library's James Madison Council; and David Packard, chairman emeritus of Hewlett-Packard Co.

WHAT: The Librarian of Congress will accept funds to establish a National Digital Library. In addition, a generous three-year grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation will be announced.

The grant from the Lucile and David Packard Foundation and the gift from John Kluge are earmarked for a major program to digitize key Library collections for eventual electronic dissemination. The Kellogg grant will help the Library identify instructional uses of digital library materials to develop research skills and critical thinking.

BACKGROUND: As the largest repository of knowledge in the world and the home of the U. S. Copyright Office, the Library of Congress will play a major role in the development of the Information Superhighway. This nationwide initiative will be a cooperative effort with Congress, the Clinton Administration, other public and school libraries, and the private sector.

The Digital Library Visitors' Center, where the press conference will be held, will offer demonstrations of the Library's digitized services and collections. This new Center, previewed by the press on October 13, will open to the public in January of 1995 with demonstrations scheduled as staffing and funds allow. The 14 workstations will include demonstrations of:

  • Images and text from LC's major exhibitions on the Vatican Library, Columbus quincentenary, Dead Sea Scrolls, Russian Archives, African American collections, and the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska on the World Wide Web.
  • More than 26 million records from the Library's card catalog.
  • American Memory, the Library's five-year digitization pilot project, which makes available 210,000 items from two dozen collections, including photographs and sound recordings.
  • Global Legal Information Network, a cooperative data base of foreign laws.
  • LC MARVEL, which offers access to the Library's data bases such as its on-line catalog, publications, copyright records and current status of congressional legislation. MARVEL users can also connect to other data bases worldwide.
  • New technology to ease computer access by disabled users.

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PR 94-153
ISSN 0731-3527

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