Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress (202) 707-9217; Karen Sanborn, Ameritech (313) 223-7194
April 28, 1998
Second Round of Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Awards Announced
First Collection from 1996-97 Competition Goes On-Line
Eleven libraries, museums and historical societies from across the United States today have received seven awards totaling more than $540,000 through a partnership between the Library of Congress and Ameritech to digitize historically significant American collections and make them freely available on the Internet (a list of winners follows).
The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition, a three-year program made possible by a $2 million gift from the Ameritech Foundation, enables U.S. libraries, archives, museums and historical societies to digitize their collections of American historical materials for inclusion in American Memory. The Library of Congress/Ameritech competition helps fulfill the Library's goals of placing millions of items on-line in collaboration with other institutions and making its digital library effort truly national in scope.
In the second year of the competition, the collections will represent a wide range of political, social, cultural and economic development in the United States -- from American Indians, the settlement of Nebraska and development of the Everglades to early advertising in America and the Haymarket riots that led to the formation of the American Federation of Labor. In another collection, the Chautauqua movement provides insight into popular entertainment before the era of the television.
North Dakota State University, one of the 10 award winners in the first cycle of awards, today makes available on-line "The Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920: Photographs from the Fred Hultstrand and F.A. Pazandak Photograph Collections." The more than 900 photographs in these collections document life on farms and in towns of the Great Plains at the turn of the century. North Dakota State is the first award winner to add its collection to the American Memory collections, which make available on-line the most interesting and important of the Library's materials relating to the history of the nation. American Memory can be accessed at http://www.loc.gov.
"Congratulations to the award winners in this round of the Library of Congress/ Ameritech National Digital Library Competition," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "These worthwhile projects to be part of the American Memory collections will, through the Internet, provide important intellectual content to students, educators and lifelong learners."
Lana Porter, President of Ameritech Library Services, said, "Ameritech is proud to continue its support of the National Digital Library Program. This effort will digitally preserve thousands of precious items detailing our nation's rich history and bring them into libraries, schools and homes for millions everywhere to cherish and enjoy."
The 11 second-year winners are:
Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, for "Haymarket Affair: Chicago Anarchists on Trial." Award amount: $57,260. This collection consists of approximately 5,500 pages/ images, including the complete original transcripts of the proceedings of the historic Haymarket trial.
Duke University, Durham, N.C., for "The Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920." Award amount: $75,000. This collection consists of 8,500 images relating to the history of advertising, including Eastman Kodak ads, tobacco related posters and insert cards, and ephemera representing ads for bicycles, patent medicines and food.
Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Neb., for "Prairie Settlement: A Story of Determination." Award amount: $65,464. This collection consists of 5,500 glass plate negatives of images recording the process of settlement of Nebraska from 1886 to 1912 and selections from diaries and letters written by the Oblinger family as they moved from Indiana to settle in a sod house on the prairie.
Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., for "North American Indian Photographs by Edward S. Curtis." Award amount: $49,777. This collection consists of 2,222 plates from Edward S. Curtis's work documenting the culture and daily life of about 80 Native American tribes in the 20th century.
University of Iowa, Iowa City, for "Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century." Award amount: $73,348. This collection consists of 9,600 flyers and promotional pamphlets representing text and images from performers and public speakers, including educational, cultural and religious lecturers, politicians and vaudeville and variety acts.
University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla., for "Reclaiming the Everglades: South Florida's Natural History, 1884-1934." Award amount: $137,188. The collection will include materials from the University of Miami, Florida International University and the Historical Museum of South Florida. The collection documents the history of South Florida, especially the Everglades, a unique subtropical ecosystem that has a rich, but troubled history.
University of Washington, Seattle, for "American Indians of the Pacific Northwest." Award amount: $82,943. The collection will include materials from the University of Washington, the Eastern Washington State Historical Society in Spokane, and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. It consists of 2,350 pictorial images and 6,000 pages of manuscripts, printed ephemera and journal articles concerning Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest from 1763 to 1920.
Nearly 70 award applications from more than 30 states were reviewed by three independent panels of distinguished scholars, educators, archivists, librarians, administrators and technical specialists.
In formulating the competition guidelines and the evaluation process, the Library turned to the National Endowment for the Humanities for expert guidance. Led by George Farr, Director of the Division of Preservation and Access of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Deanna Marcum, President of the Council on Library and Information Resources, three successive panels evaluated applications for historical significance, technical viability and the relevance of collections to current and planned American Memory collections.
"The applications presented a marvelous variety of resources usually unavailable to the general public. The institutions involved have done a wonderful job of making these collections accessible to schoolteachers and students as well as scholars and the general public," Dr. Farr said.
"This year more than ever, the applications demonstrated that libraries, historical societies and museums are able and willing to undertake complex digitization projects and make their historical treasures available to all," Dr. Marcum said.
Additional information on the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition, including summaries of the projects of the first and second year award recipients, is available at:
- The Library's Web site -- http://www.loc.gov/
- The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition Web site -- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/award/
- The Ameritech Web site -- http://www.ameritech.com/ (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 helps the Library meet that goal by providing funds to libraries and other institutions to aid them in the critical, yet expensive, task of digitizing their unique American collections for access on the World Wide Web.
The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, with more than 113 million items, including the papers of 23 U.S. presidents. Its collections are in nearly every language and format -- from Chinese woodblock prints to compact disks. Founded in 1800 to serve the reference needs of Congress, the Library has grown into an unparalleled treasure house of knowledge and creativity.
Ameritech (NYSE: AIT) 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 services, cable TV, Internet services and more. One of the world's 100 largest companies, Ameritech (www.ameritech.com) has 73,000 employees, 1 million share owners and $28 billion in assets.
NOTE: Following are media contacts at each of the libraries that have received awards:
Chicago Historical Society
Karen Brown, (312) 642-5035, Ext. 360
Ilene Nelson, (919) 660-5816
Nebraska State Historical Society
Jill Marie Koelling, (402) 471-4409
Richard Frieder, (847) 491-4672
University of Iowa
Marguerite Perret, (319) 335-5960
University of Miami
Michelle Garber, (305) 284-1606
University of Washington
Bob Roseth, (206) 543-2580
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