Spearheaded by David Woodley Packard and the nonprofit Packard Humanities Institute, the Packard Campus, with a construction cost of more than $150 million, represents the largest-ever private gift to the Library of Congress and one of the largest ever to the federal government.
One of the center's crucial missions is to transfer priceless historical images and sounds from fragile cylinders, tapes or films to digital files, which are more accessible and longer lasting. The latest technologies will be used, such as SAMMA, a robot that can load and digitize videocassettes 24 hours a day, and special vibration-free transcription turntables—of the 20 in existence, the Library has 13!
The Library was officially "handed the keys" on July 26, during a conveyance ceremony featuring Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, Packard, acclaimed baritone Thomas Hampson and several congressional leaders. The webcast of the event is available as part of the series of online presentations documenting the multitude of events held at the Library.