July 29, 1999 Library of Congress Publishes Annual Report for 1998

Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

The Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress for 1998 has just been released for public acquisition. It was submitted to Congress earlier by Librarian James H. Billington and accepted by the legislative body. The report, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998, describes the Library's activities in Washington, D.C., and in national and international outreach programs.

Of particular note in the Librarian's report is the high level of service to Congress and the nation through the use of technology. An increasing amount of information was made available on the Library's Web site at https://www.loc.gov. The site, which was frequently cited for excellence by the media, averaged 60 million transactions each month during fiscal 1998. The Library continued to upgrade the Legislative Information System for use by members of Congress and their staff, and the Inquiry Status Information System that the Congressional Research Service used to track some 560,000 congressional requests for timely and objective legislative analysis. On May 15, 1998, the Library awarded a contract to Endeavor Information Systems Inc. for an Integrated Library System to improve automation support for bibliographic control and inventory management activities.

As part of the Library's National Digital Library Program, 16 new historical collections were added to the Library's Web site, along with several new Library exhibitions. At year's end, nearly $45 million had been raised in private funds, in addition to the $15 million in congressional support for this Library initiative.

The Library prepared for its Bicentennial celebration to be held in the year 2000. Congress approved a commemorative coin to mark the historic occasion and the U.S. Postal Service announced its intention to issue a Library of Congress postage stamp. Planning began on a number of key Bicentennial initiatives, such as "Gifts to the Nation," which aims to expand the collections and their research use through contributions, and "Local Legacies," a project to document cultural traditions and events at the turn of the century in each congressional district.

During the year, Congress approved the Library's comprehensive Security Plan that provides a framework for the security of the Library's staff, visitors, facilities, collections, and other assets. The Library also continued to implement a comprehensive computer security plan to safeguard the Library's valuable electronic resources, and a Year 2000 plan to ensure that its computer systems will function properly at the turn of the century. At year's end, the Library requested from Congress an emergency supplemental appropriation to further enhance physical security.

During the year, the size of the Library's collection grew to 115,505,695 (an increase of nearly 2.5 million items). The arrearage of unprocessed materials, mostly in nonbook formats, was reduced by 861,548 items, while remaining current with new receipts. Approximately 800,000 items are added annually to the Library's collection through the copyright registration process.

Important new collections came to the Library through gift or purchase, including the Pamela Harriman Collection of 500,000 items belonging to this diplomat and political figure; the papers of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; an addition of 2,000 items to the papers of Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan; the Martha Graham Archives, documenting the contributions of this pioneer in American dance; 32,000 papers of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay; additions to the records of the National Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) national office and the NAACP Washington Bureau; additions to the Irving Berlin Collection and the Leonard Bernstein Archives; and 60 drawings by political cartoonist Pat Oliphant.

These and other activities are described in the 1998 report. The 188-page paper-bound publication is available from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, for $9.50. Cite stock number 030-000-00282-2 when ordering.


PR 99-088
ISSN 0731-3527