Grants available for preservation R&D

"Digital Archiving and Long-Term Preservation solicitation"

The Library of Congress and the National Science Foundation are offering joint research grants worth a total of $2.3 million for managing and preserving digital information.

Program officials expect 12 to 15 initial awards this year for research to overcome obstacles to digital archiving. The research solicitation cites plans for awards of about $100,000 for high-risk, small-scale planning proposals and about $500,000 for demonstration proposals. Both types of proposals must have the potential to "catalyze rapid and innovative advances" in preserving digital materials.

Proposals are due Sept. 14.

The research solicitation states that the long-term preservation of digital materials has become a critical national issue, and it names three areas of interest: models for digital repositories; tools, technologies and processes; and organizational, economic and policy issues.

Organizational, economic and policy obstacles to preserving digital materials are among the biggest challenges, according to the program notice.

In announcing the joint research effort this month, library officials said they had signed a memorandum of understanding with NSF to collaborate during the next 10 years on an ambitious program of research activities related to digital libraries and digital archives.

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