June 7, 2006 Library of Congress Announces Digital Preservation Award to Stanford University

Public Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress (202) 707-9217 | Andrew Herkovic, Stanford University (650) 725-1877

The Library of Congress has entered into a three-year cooperative agreement with Stanford University to provide approximately $700,000 in support of Stanford’s CLOCKSS (Controlled Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) digital archive pilot and related technical projects. Funding is being provided by the congressionally mandated National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP).

“We are looking forward to working with Stanford on this important collaboration,” said Laura E. Campbell, associate librarian for Strategic Initiatives, who is leading NDIIPP. “By joining our other NDIIPP digital preservation partners, Stanford is leveraging the collective expertise in this important field of librarianship.”

The Library is leading the NDIIPP initiative (www.digitalpreservation.gov), which is focused on the long-term preservation of culturally important born-digital materials. A key element of this program is the formation of a national network of partners, like Stanford, to implement solutions and share responsibility for preserving digital materials.

Since 1999, Stanford has been developing preservation software as part of its LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) program.

Web sites have become the version of record for many journals and other types of publications that are no longer distributed in print. Information stored on paper can survive for centuries; information stored digitally today may not be recoverable next

week. Libraries are thus faced with the urgent problem of creating online collections that are as well preserved as traditional hard copies. The reliable preservation of digital materials is critical to the mission of librarians who build collections and must ensure the future availability of today’s intellectual, cultural and historical content.

The LOCKSS Program, initiated by Stanford University Libraries, is open-source software that provides libraries with an easy and inexpensive way to collect, store, preserve and provide access to their own, local copy of authorized content. The CLOCKSS initiative (http://www.lockss.org/clockss) is a collaborative, community initiative to build a trusted, large-scale, dark archive. CLOCKSS is intended to provide a decentralized and secure solution to long-term archiving, based on the LOCKSS technical infrastructure. Its governance and administration structure are distributed to ensure that no single organization controls the archive or has the power to compromise the content's long-term safety or integrity. Access to archived content will be granted in response to a trigger event (for example, when content is orphaned or abandoned by its owner or subject to long-term business interruption), reviewed by a group of people working on behalf of the broader community. Any content that is made accessible after a trigger event will be made available to all.

As part of the NDIIPP cooperative agreement, Stanford will work with the Library of Congress to explore the potential applicability of its LOCKSS/ CLOCKSS technologies to a variety of initiatives and projects that support the overall goals of NDIIPP. The Library award will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Stanford.

About the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program

In December 2000 Congress authorized the Library of Congress to develop and execute a congressionally approved plan for a National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. A $99.8 million congressional appropriation was made to establish the program. According to Conference Report (H. Rept. 106-1033), “The overall plan should set forth a strategy for the Library of Congress, in collaboration with other federal and nonfederal entities, to identify a national network of libraries and other organizations with responsibilities for collecting digital materials that will provide access to and maintain those materials. … In addition to developing this strategy, the plan shall set forth, in concert with the Copyright Office, the policies, protocols and strategies for the long-term preservation of such materials, including the technological infrastructure required at the Library of Congress.” The goal is to build a network of committed partners working through a preservation architecture with defined roles and responsibilities.

The complete text of the “Plan for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program” is available at www.digitalpreservation.gov. This includes an explanation of how the plan was developed, whom the Library worked with to develop the plan and the key components of the digital preservation infrastructure. The plan was approved by Congress in December 2002.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Through its National Digital Library (NDL) Program, it is also one of the leading providers of noncommercial intellectual content on the Internet (www.loc.gov). The NDL Program’s flagship American Memory project, in collaboration with other institutions nationwide, makes freely available more than 10.5 million American historical items.

About the LOCKSS Program and Stanford Libraries

The LOCKSS Program (www.lockss.org) is based at Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources (www-sul.stanford.edu). Over the years, the program has received major funding from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation, as well as funding and in-kind support from the United Kingdom’s Joint Information Systems Committee, Sun Microsystems, HP Labs, Intel Research Berkeley and Harvard University. The program is now largely funded by contributions from the member libraries of the LOCKSS Alliance.

Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources is dedicated to meeting the university's information needs in support of teaching, learning and research; to the global dissemination of scholarly information through publishing and online services; and to the advancement of the art and science of library and information practices. It is actively addressing the challenges of scholarly communication and research libraries in the digital age, while continuing the development and preservation of its extensive print, media and manuscript collections.


PR 06-129
ISSN 0731-3527