By AUDREY FISCHER
The following is a calendar year report. However, statistical data is based on the fiscal year Oct. 1, 2004, through Sept. 30, 2005.
In 2005 the Library of Congress greeted 1.4 million visitors, provided access to its unparalleled collections in 21 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and continued to shareits vast resources globally through its award-winning Web site (www.loc.gov). At year's end the site contained more than 10 million American historical items for scholars and researchers, children and families.
The Library continued to work in cooperation with other organizations to develop a National Digital Information and Infrastructure Program to identify and preserve the nation's digital heritage. In May the Library, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, awarded research grants totaling $3 million to 10 universities and their partner institutions to undertake cutting edge research in the field of digital preservation and access. In June the Librarian of Congress proposed an initiative to develop a public and private partnership to build a World Digital Library. Entering into a cooperative agreement with $3 million in November, Google Inc. became the first private donor to this endeavor.
During the year, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington presented B.B. King with the Living Legend medal in honor of his achievements as a musician and ambassador for the blues. American composer Gunther Schuller was similarly honored with the Library's Living Legend award for his extraordinary work in both classical and jazz traditions.
The Library launched its Creativity Across America initiative in December, with the first of an 11-city "Song of America" tour featuring renowned baritone Thomas Hampson, who will perform many works from the Library's music collections. Through the Creativity Across America initiative, the Library will share its rich resources in various cities throughout the country.