Library of Congress Signs Nat’l Dig Library Fed Agreement


The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, the Commission on Preservation and Access and officials from 14 other research libraries and archives on May 1 signed the National
Digital Library Federation Agreement.

Recognizing “the important leadership role that the Libraryof Congress has played in raising as a national issue the need for such a national digital library,” those institutions taking part agreed to “bring together — from across the nation and beyond — digitized materials that will be made accessible to students, scholars and citizens everywhere.”

“The Library of Congress is proud to be a member of the National Digital Library Federation and to continue its leadership role in building a collection of digitized materials that will bring unique materials reflecting America’s heritage and culture to all,” said Dr. Billington.

The Commission on Preservation and Access, whose president is Deanna B. Marcum, is a private, nonprofit organization. Its mission is to develop and support collaboration among libraries and allied institutions to ensure access to and preservation of resources in all formats.

At the signing, held at Harvard University, participants agreed to establish a collaborative management structure, develop a coordinated approach to fund-raising and formulate selection guidelines that will “ensure conformance to the general theme of U.S. heritage and
culture.” “The Library of Congress and the scholarly community will benefit from participation in the National Digital Library Federation, particularly by working with the federation members to increase access to the nation’s research collections in libraries and archives both large and small,” said Winston Tabb, Associate Librarian for Collections Services.

In addition to the Library of Congress, and the Commission on Preservation and Access, those institutions signing the agreement are: Columbia University, Cornell University, Emory University, Harvard University, National Archives and Records Administration, New York Public Library, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, and University of Tennessee and Yale University.