National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Established in fiscal 2001 and funded with an appropriation of $99.8 million from the U.S. Congress, the goal of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program is to encourage shared responsibility for the collection, selection and organization of historically significant cultural materials regardless of evolving formats; the long-term storage, preservation and authentication of those collections; and rights-protected access for the public to the digital heritage of the American people.
In 2004 eight institutions and their partners were awarded $14 million to identify, collect and preserve historically important digital materials. These partners, comprising 36 institutions, met twice in 2005 to discuss issues of mutual concern.
In May the Library, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, awarded research grants totaling $3 million to 10 university teams to undertake cutting edge research in the field of digital preservation and access.
In October the Library announced a $3 million grant award to Ithaka, a nonprofit organization, for the development of Portico, an electronic archiving service. The project will begin by archiving electronic journals. The award advances two fundamental goals of the Library's massive digital preservation program: to develop a technical infrastructure to support long-term preservation of digital content and to foster the development of new business models for digital preservation services.
World Digital Library. In June the Librarian of Congress introduced the concept of a World Digital Library during a speech delivered at Georgetown University to the newly established U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.
He proposed that public research institutions and libraries work with private organizations to digitize significant primary materials of different cultures from institutions across the globe. In November Google Inc. agreed to donate $3 million as the first partner in this public-private initiative.
Internet Resources. The Library continued to expand its electronic services to Congress and the nation through its award-winning Web site. During the year, nearly 3.7 billion transactions were recorded on all of the Library's computer systems. The following are selected resources available on the Library's Web site.
- American Memory. At year's end, more than 10 million American historical items were available on the American Memory Web site. In 2005 seven new multimedia historical collections were added to the American Memory Web site, bringing the total to 133. Five existing collections were expanded with new content. The American Memory Web registered 825 million hits in fiscal 2005—an increase of more than 33 percent over the previous year.
- America's Library. Work continued to expand the content and features available on America's Library, an interactive Web site for children and families that draws upon the Library's vast online resources. The site has won numerous awards and is one of the most popular online offerings of the Library. America's Library logged more than 239 million transaction during the year as compared with 218 million in 2004.
- Exhibitions. Nine new Library exhibitions were added to the Library's Web site in 2005, bringing the total to 63. This feature allows users who are unable to visit the Library in person to view many of its past and current exhibitions online.
- Global Gateway. Four new collections were added to the Global Gateway Web site, a portal to the Library's unparalleled international collections and those of other major repositories worldwide through collaborative digitization projects. These included the Library's collection of 38 cuneiform tablets, which were digitized and added to the site.
- Global Legal Information Network. During the year, the Law Library implemented a new and enhanced version of the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), a network of government agencies and international institutions that contribute official texts of laws and related legal materials to a database that is accessible over the Internet.
Through the contributions of 27 countries and international institutions and the addition of laws for 16 other countries by the staff of the Law Library, GLIN provides timely access to the laws of 43 of the world's governing bodies. The upgraded system provides new features, including multilingual input and search capabilities in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Since the launch of the new system in February, approximately 2.4 million transactions were recorded on the GLIN site.
- Online Catalog. The Library continued to provide global access to its online public catalog. The site recorded more than 4 million transactions during the year.
- Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. A milestone was reached in 2005 with the addition of the 1 millionth image from the Library's Prints and Photographs Division to the online catalog.
- THOMAS. The public legislative information system known as THOMAS continued to be a popular resource, with 210 million transactions recorded in 2005 as compared with 150 million in 2004. The system was upgraded and enhanced in November to provide a more visually appealing home page, improve navigation and be accessible to persons with disabilities in compliance with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Wise Guide. The Library's Web magazine, the Wise Guide, is a portal to the millions of resources from the Library available online. Each month readers are offered seven articles with links to the most interesting materials in the Library's various Web sites.