LOC looks to Microsoft to make documents interactive

The Library of Congress has chosen Microsoft to provide an initial grant of technology, services and funding worth upward of $3 million to enhance the online accessibility and interactivity of about 800 of the library’s prominent holdings.

The library announced that it had reached a nonexclusive agreement to use Microsoft software to power a series of new search and viewing tools that will be launched this year to improve accessibility and interactivity. As part of the program, new kiosks at library buildings that highlight featured documents will run on Microsoft Vista software, and Microsoft Silverlight will help power the library’s upcoming launch of its new Web site, MyLOC.gov, where users can access and personalize similar interactive materials.

The “Exploring the Early Americas” exhibition, which opened Dec. 13, debuted the new technology. Throughout this year, the library plans to make new holdings interactive, including the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Gutenberg Bible, 1507 Waldseemüller World Map that was first to use the word “America,” and original volumes from Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, said library spokesman Matt Raymond.

“This is really a quantum leap for the library,” he said, emphasizing the technical capabilities of the new initiative.

Raymond said the library and Microsoft had signed the cooperative agreement a few days ago after several months of discussion. The overall cooperative project is likely to be worth about $22 million, and library officials say they may also work with other companies as the project progresses.

Keith Hurwitz, Microsoft’s public-sector platform strategy adviser, said the project presents a unique opportunity for the company to help the library improve accessibility while also showcasing the company’s technology.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.