August 17, 2000 Library of Congress Acquires Digital Trading Cards

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: Harry Katz (202) 707-8696

The Library of Congress has acquired its first examples of interactive digital trading cards. The collection of 52, three-inch CD-ROM discs contains video footage, sound, photos and career highlights of historic and contemporary sports figures from the world of hockey, football, baseball, race car driving, and basketball, in addition to "Battlefield Earth" and the cartoon action figure "Digimon." The cards, which are manufactured and distributed under the PowerDeck brand name by the Upper Deck Company, were acquired as a copyright deposit and will be added to the collections of the Library's Prints and Photographs Division. The Library of Congress is the home of the Copyright Office. Each disc contains up to 40 megabytes of information. Playback requires a Pentium processor-based PC or Power Macintosh computer with a 4x or faster CD-ROM drive.

"This acquisition opens up an exciting new window for our collections into contemporary design, social history, and technological change," said Harry L. Katz, curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Arts at the Library of Congress. "The Library's collections now include sports memorabilia ranging from the earliest known photographic baseball card, featuring the 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics, to these new examples of the latest digital technology."

The Prints and Photographs collections of the Library of Congress contain nearly 15 million photographs, fine and popular prints, drawings, posters, and architectural records. While international in scope, the collections form the most comprehensive pictorial record of the history of the United States and the lives, concerns and achievements of its people.

A recent report, LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress, prepared by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, recommended that the Library of Congress take the lead in the preservation and archiving of digital materials. In response to the report, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, "We are determined to make our cataloging, access and preservation services the finest in the digital age, so that the needs of the Congress and its constituents in this century can be fully met."


PR 00-116
ISSN 0731-3527