Press contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

July 21, 2006

Digital Preservation Program Seeks Private Sector Partnerships

Request for Expressions of Interest to Support Preservation of Creative Works

The Library of Congress, through its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), is today releasing an announcement that seeks expressions of interest in a project to preserve the digital content produced by the private sector, including but not limited to motion pictures, sound recordings, still photography, graphics, illustration, interactive games, literary arts and other media.

Expressions of interest are due at the Library no later than Friday, Sept. 22, 2006. NDIIPP will provide funding for accepted projects as described below and in the full announcement, which is in the “Highlights” section at www.digitalpreservation.gov.

The request grows out of a strategy meeting held by the Library in Los Angeles last April in which NDIIPP gathered more than 50 private sector producers of digital content to assess their interest in, and plans for, the long-term preservation of their digital content. Participants in the meeting, which launched the NDIIPP Preserving Creative America project, discussed a range of issues pertaining to digital preservation and explored potential relationships between the Library of Congress and those engaged in or associated with the creation of digital content in the United States today. Additional information about the meeting is at /today/pr/2006/06-096.html.

The Los Angeles meeting highlighted important preservation work already under way by the creative content industries and at the same time identified several areas in which additional work is needed. Examples of the latter include standardizing content formats and metadata, including standards for the deposit of digital content with the Copyright Office; finding economically sustainable models for funding preservation activities; forging mutually beneficial relationships between content creators and public archives; and refining production workflows.

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program is building a “digital preservation network” of partners nationwide that are committed to the collection and long-term preservation of America’s cultural and historical digital content. To date, NDIIPP has more than 65 partners – institutions large and small, other government agencies, companies in the public and private sectors, educational institutions, research laboratories and other organizations both in the United States and abroad.

In the NDIIPP legislation, Congress specified that most NDIIPP funding must be contingent upon the receipt of matching cash or in-kind contributions from nonfederal sources. Therfore, project proposals that request NDIIPP funding support must include the provision of an equal or greater match in funding support from project participants. Cost sharing in the form of in-kind contributions may include such cost elements as contributed time spent by staff or consultants on the project, the donation of technology and services or the absorption of a portion of indirect cost rates usually chargeable to the project.

Complete details on submitting an Expression of Interest in the Preserving Creative America project, due Sept. 22, 2006, can be found on the NDIIPP Web site at www.digitalpreservation.gov.

BACKGROUND

In December 2000 Congress authorized the Library of Congress to develop and execute a congressionally approved plan for a National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. A $99.8 million congressional appropriation was made to establish the program. According to Conference Report (H. Rept. 106-1033), “The overall plan should set forth a strategy for the Library of Congress, in collaboration with other federal and nonfederal entities, to identify a national network of libraries and other organizations with responsibilities for collecting digital materials that will provide access to and maintain those materials. … In addition to developing this strategy, the plan shall set forth, in concert with the Copyright Office, the policies, protocols and strategies for the long-term preservation of such materials, including the technological infrastructure required at the Library of Congress.”

The legislation mandates that the Library work with federal entities such as the Secretary of Commerce, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and “other federal, research and private libraries and institutions with expertise in telecommunications technology and electronic commerce policy.” The goal is to build a network of committed partners with defined roles and responsibilities, supported through a preservation architecture.

The Library of Congress digital strategy is formulated in concert with a study, commissioned by the Librarian of Congress and undertaken by the National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. “LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress” was issued July 26, 2000, and made several recommendations, including that the Library, working with other institutions, take the lead in the preservation and archiving of digital materials.

The complete text of “Preserving Our Digital Heritage: Plan for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program” is available at www.digitalpreservation.gov. This report includes an explanation of how the plan was developed, whom the Library worked with to develop the plan and the key components of the digital preservation infrastructure. Congress approved the plan in December 2002.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Through its National Digital Library (NDL) Program, it is also one of the leading providers of noncommercial intellectual content on the Internet (www.loc.gov). The NDL Program’s flagship American Memory project, in collaboration with other institutions nationwide, makes freely available more than 10.5 million American historical items.

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PR 06-146
07/21/06
ISSN 0731-3527

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