Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

July 24, 1998

Guidelines for Third and Final Round of Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition Now Available

Guidelines for entering the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition are available from the competition's Web site at

With a $2 million gift from Ameritech, the Library of Congress is sponsoring a competition to enable public, research and academic libraries, museums, historical societies and archival institutions (except federal institutions) to create digital collections of primary resources. These digital collections will complement and enhance the collections made available on the Internet from American Memory, a project of the National Digital Library Program at the Library of Congress.

The third year of the three-year competition provides for awards of up to $75,000 for individual institutions and up to $150,000 for eligible consortia for projects that can be accomplished in 12 to 18 months.

So far, 21 institutions have received awards, and one winner, North Dakota State University, has already digitized and made its collection available through American Memory, as well as the university's Web site.

The National Digital Library is envisioned as a distributed collection of converted library materials and digital originals to which many American institutions will contribute. The Library of Congress's contribution to this World Wide Web-based virtual library is called American Memory.

For the 1998-99 cycle, the competition is especially interested in proposals that illuminate the "Meeting of Frontiers"; it is also interested in "Science and Technology" and "Church and Society." For additional information about the subject matter emphasis, view or download the Guidelines and Application Instructions on-line.

Applications will be evaluated by scholars, educators, administrators and technical specialists external to the Library of Congress. Evaluators for the competition will be convened by the Division of Preservation and Access of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Council on Library and Information Resources.

The primary criterion for evaluation of an application will be the significance of the collection for historical understanding and its utility to students and the general public. Once evaluators have assessed these factors, they will assess the technical and administrative viability of the project's plan of work. Applications from Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and non-ARL institutions will be evaluated separately. In the final selection among meritorious projects, some consideration will be given to relevance to the subject emphases outlined above and to geographical location.

The National Digital Library Program aims, in collaboration with other institutions, to make millions of items freely available on the Internet. The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition enables other institutions to digitize some of their most important American materials and make them part of the Library's on-line collections.

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, with more than 113 million items, including the papers of 23 U.S. presidents. Founded in 1800, it will celebrate its bicentennial in 2000. Its collections are in nearly every language and format -- from Chinese woodblock prints to compact disks.

Ameritech serves millions of customers in 50 states and 40 countries. Ameritech provides a full range of communications services, including local and long distance telephone, cellular, paging, security monitoring, cable TV, electronic commerce, on- line services and more. One of the world's 100 largest companies, Ameritech ( has 66,000 employees, 1 million share owners and $24 billion in assets.

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PR 98-114
ISSN 0731-3527

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