Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress (202) 707-9217; Rob Lanesay, Ameritech, (312) 364-3616

January 9, 1998

Ninety-nine Institutions Apply for Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Awards

Ninety-nine institutions, either alone or in combination with others, have submitted 68 applications in the second round of the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition.

Forty-five of the institutions formed 14 consortia in applying for awards to digitize their American history collections and make them freely available as part of the Library of Congress's American Memory on-line collections. Awards can be up to $75,000 for individual institutions and up to $150,000 for consortia.

This is the first time that the competition has allowed institutions to join together in their applications. The result has been an increase in the number of applications from public libraries, archives, historical societies and museums. The intention of the competition is to encourage applications from a variety of institutions, large and small, public and private. During the final selection among meritorious projects, some consideration will be given to the type and size of institution and its geographical location and relevance to the subject areas emphasized in this year's competition.

Applications are evaluated by independent reviewers external to the Library of Congress. These evaluators are being convened by the Division of Preservation and Access of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Award winners will be announced in April 1998. On April 10, 1997, in the first round of the three-year program, 10 institutions from across the country received awards that will help them make their unique collections available to anyone with access to the Internet.

With a $2 million gift from Ameritech, the Library of Congress is sponsoring this competition to enable non- federal, tax-exempt, non-profit cultural repositories to create digital collections of primary resource material.

These digital collections will complement and enhance the collections of the National Digital Library Program at the Library of Congress, available on the Internet at http://www.loc.gov/. The National Digital Library is envisioned as a distributed collection of digitized reproductions and originals to which many American institutions will contribute. The Library of Congress's contribution to this World Wide Web-based virtual library is called American Memory and is created by the Library's National Digital Library Program.

Awards will be made for projects that can be accomplished in 12 to 18 months. Repositories in the United States with collections of primary resource material that are significant for education and research in United States history and culture are eligible to apply.

The last round of the competition will take place in 1998-1999, with applications due on Nov. 2, 1998. For more information on the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Program, see the World Wide Web site at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/award/ or visit the Ameritech Web site at http://www.ameritech.com/community/loc/index.html (external link).

The goal of the National Digital Library Program is to make freely available over the Internet millions of items by the year 2000, in collaboration with other institutions. Ameritech's contribution will help the Library meet that goal by providing funds to libraries and other institutions to aid them in the critical, yet expensive, task of making their unique American collections electronically available.

Ameritech serves millions of customers in 50 states and 40 countries. Ameritech provides a full range of communications services, including local and long distance telephone, cellular, paging, security monitoring, cable TV, electronic commerce, on-line services and more. One of the world's 100 largest companies, Ameritech (www.ameritech.com (external link)) has 66,000 employees, 1 million share owners and $24 billion in assets.

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PR 98-003
1/9/98
ISSN 0731-3527

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