Monday, November 28, 2005

Library of Congress Launches Effort to Create World Digital Library

Google Is First Private-Sector Partner with Funding of $3 Million

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin announced today that Google is the first private-sector company to contribute to the Library’s initiative to develop a plan to begin building a World Digital Library (WDL) for use by other libraries around the globe. The effort would be supported by funds from nonexclusive, public and private partnerships, of which Google is the first.

Billington said that the World Digital Library would bring together online “rare and unique cultural materials held in U.S. and Western repositories with those of other great cultures such as those that lie beyond Europe and involve more than 1 billion people: Chinese East Asia, Indian South Asia and the worlds of Islam stretching from Indonesia through Central and West Asia to Africa.”

To lay the groundwork for the WDL, the Library will develop a plan for identifying technology issues related to digitization and organization of WDL collections. These might include presentation, maintenance, standards and metadata schemas that support both access and preservation. The plan will also identify resources, such as equipment, staffing and funding, required to digitize and launch an online presentation of a WDL collection.

Full press release:

International team wins the 2005 Digital Preservation Award

The PREMIS Working Group - a team of 30 experts from five countries - was awarded the prestigious Digital Preservation Award for 2005. This is the tenth anniversary of the Conservation Awards, which this year has a new sponsor - Sir Paul McCartney. This is the second year to include the DPC-sponsored £5,000 Digital Preservation Award, which was awarded to the PREMIS Working Group for "leadership and advancement in digital preservation which will benefit the UK."

The winning team’s work is to do with "preservation meta-data", which is essential to ensure that digital objects remain accessible over time. The work of the PREMIS Working Group goes a long way towards establishing an international open-source standard for handling meta-data, which will help libraries and institutions around the world to archive digital content - the volume of which is doubling every year.

Full press release: