Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thank-You, Library of Congress

The AHA blog made note of this report from the Library of Congress. Here's what we have to thank the LoC for:

Providing care to more than 2.6 million endangered special collection items, with emphasis on the Library's most significant holdings.

Surveying a total of 197,227 rare and fragile items so they could be stabilized by treatment or rehousing for access, digitization, exhibition, and relocation to off-site storage.

Housing 2,379,643 items, including the preparation of 14,078 protective boxes; and the cleaning and housing of 15,397 discs, film and magnetic media.

Rehousing 2,263,059 photographs and 86,696 paper-based items, as well as 418 miscellaneous items.

Treating 16,449 items from 12 curatorial divisions, including 14,265 paper documents, 784 books, 944 photographs and 506 other format materials.

Preservation microfilming of 3.3 million exposures (5.8 million pages).

Deacidifying 298,826 books and 1,069,500 document sheets as part of its Thirty Year (One Generation) Mass Deacidification

Plan to stabilize more than 8.5 million general collection books and at least 30 million pages of manuscripts.

Initiating a new five-year contract for deacidification services that will save 1,250,000 books and more than 5 million sheets of original manuscript materials.

Using a single-sheet treatment cylinder onsite at the Library to deacidify 4,000 pages per day of non-book, paper-based materials that were too valuable to be transported to the mass deacidification vendor plant near Pittsburgh, Pa.

Collaborative Projects

Maps. In collaboration with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Alcoa Foundation, the Preservation Directorate and the Geography and Map Division started the process of creating a permanent, oxygen-free housing for the 16th-century Waldseemüeller Map that depicts the name "America" for the first time in the Western Hemisphere. The map will be displayed in its new housing in 2007.
Sound recordings. The Library is working with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to convert the analog information on long-playing records (LPs) to digital audio files in a project known as IRENE (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.).

Newspapers. Building on the successful U.S. Newspaper Program, which microfilmed more than 72 million endangered newspaper pages over a 23-year period, the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities established the
National Digital Newspaper Program in 2005. Under this program, six institutions were awarded more than $1.9 million in grants to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers now in the public domain.


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