The Library's National Digital Library Program will soon make available on its World Wide Web site three new collections of American historical materials.
Available July 6, the new offerings bring to 16 the number of collections available from the Library at http://www.loc.gov/. These multimedia collections, which include photographs, pamphlets, daguerreotypes, manuscripts, sound recordings and films, represent one of the most important sources of high-quality intellectual content freely available on the Internet.
"Young learners as well as learners of all ages will now be able to benefit from these unique collections that illuminate the American experience," said James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. "The 16 collections online from the Library of Congress illustrate the best of American creativity."
The new collections will be especially useful to K-12 students and teachers, who will also be able to access them through the Library's Learning Page, which offers education-related help in searching collections by the Events, People, Time and Places of American history at (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/). "Because our surveys showed us that the K-12 community is the most frequent user of our electronic offerings, we are eager to integrate the new collections with the Learning Page, which focuses on education," said Martha Dexter of the National Digital Library Program's educational services area.
The National Digital Library Program in collaboration with other research institutions aims to make freely available 5 million items by the year 2000. The program, which began October 1994, is being funded by a $3 million congressional appropriation in 1996. (LC has asked for $3 million each year in 1996-2000, or $15 million.) The Library plans to raise $45 million in private funds, for a total of $60 million. So far, more than $22 million in new private donations has been raised.
Collections soon to be available are:
The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920. This collection of 60 books, 548 congressional and presidential documents, 170 prints and photographs, manuscripts and one motion picture documents the formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural heritage.
Gottscho-Schleisner Photographs, 1932-1960. The 29,300 photographs in this collection offer many images from the work of architectural photographers Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner. Their pictures document building styles and trends throughout America. Unique images also include scenes from the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Theodor Horydczak Photographs, 1920-1950. These 14,350 photographs primarily feature images of Washington as a developing urban center, chronicling the city's social and cultural life through its events, organizations, embassies, museums and libraries.