Contact: Craig D'Ooge, Library of Congress (202) 707-9189; Jessica Blue, Federal Express (at Ketchum Public Relations) (202) 835-8844

September 23, 1997

Federal Express Donates $1 Million to the National Digital Library Program

Federal Express is making a major contribution to the Library of Congress's effort to place its most important American collections on-line with a $1 million gift to the National Digital Library Program.

The donation will enable the Library to continue to add to its electronic American Memory collections (, which already present unique items such as selected notebooks of Walt Whitman, early films of Thomas Edison, sound recordings of folk music and political speeches, photographs of the Civil War, panoramic maps, and documents relating to the civil rights movement and women's suffrage.

"We are delighted that Federal Express has decided to become a major supporter of our American Memory project," said James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. "American Memory is the Library's most important public outreach effort, one that would not be possible without the support of private donors."

"Federal Express is proud to support the educational opportunities that the National Digital Library Program has created through advancements in technology," said Federal Express Chief Executive Frederick Smith. "Our support for these digitized historical archives is a reflection of our commitment to quality education."

The Library of Congress, with more than 111 million items, is the world's largest library. It has been digitizing its collections relating to American history since 1990, when it began distributing these materials on disk to 44 test sites across the nation. In 1994, the Library inaugurated its National Digital Library Program and began to place these same collections and others on the World Wide Web, where they could be accessed by anyone at any time with an Internet connection. More than 41 million Internet transactions are handled by the Library each month, not only in accessing the American Memory collections but also other Web-based initiatives, such as THOMAS, a congressional database; exhibitions; the Library's on-line catalog; records of the U.S. Copyright Office; the Global Legal Information Network; and general information about the Library.

Federal Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing services for more than 2.9 million items to 212 countries each working day. The company employs approximately 137,000 people, has nearly 42,500 drop-off locations and operates more than 590 aircraft and 38,500 vehicles in its integrated global network. FedEx (Trademark) maintains electronic connections with more than 1.7 million users via FedEx Powership, FedEx Ship and FedEx interNetShip. Federal Express reported revenues of $11.5 billion for its fiscal year ended May 31, 1997.

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PR 97-144
ISSN 0731-3527

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