Four universities to test preservation handling

"Library of Congress Digital Preservation Web site"

The Library of Congress has selected four university research libraries as initial partners for a year-long test of procedures for handling large digital collections slated for long-term preservation.

The institutions whose selection was announced this month are Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Old Dominion University and Stanford University.

For the handling test, the Library of Congress and the four institutions will experiment using different methods of receiving and transferring a 12G collection of text, digital images, audio and video materials. The collection, donated by George Mason University's Center for History and New Media, documents the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The number of organizations producing digital materials is greater and growing faster than the number of institutions committed to preserving such material, said Guy Lamolinara, a Library of Congress spokesman.

In a statement released by the library, Lamolinara said any practical preservation plans require mechanisms for a continuous transfer of content "from the wider world into the hand of preserving institutions."

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