Partners sought for digital preservation

The Library of Congress seeks partners to help preserve at-risk digital materials.

Federal officials on Tuesday said they are taking applications for organizations to work with the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, an initiative of the Library of Congress funded by legislation passed by Congress in December 2000, and hopes to identify groups willing to work in partnership with the library to collect and preserve digital information for the future.

"There needs to be a group of partners who are committed to collecting this information and preserving it for the future," said Guy Lamolinara, spokesperson for the Library of Congress. "This is a project that the library can not do on its own."

Federal awards will be administered in February 2004, in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $3 million. Interested parties have until November 12 of this year to submit applications containing an overall work plan and budget with proposals to identify, select and collect digital content.

The library hopes to create an infrastructure for collecting and preserving digital materials so that they are not lost for future generations. This involves identifying government and nongovernment Web sites, digital books, journals, films and sounds of historical significance, and finding a way to maintain them for a long time.

For example, one partner may gather digital information in a specific area of American history, such as political Web sites, Lamolinara said. That organization would be responsible for collecting relevant material, archiving it and making it available to the public.

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