Posted by: Government & Heritage Library | May 10, 2010

Preservation Week Spotlight on Federal Digital Information

Yesterday we took a look at national libraries abroad that are at the forefront of preserving their countries’ materials.  Today, we look closer to home at initiatives that hope to preserve and improve access to digital US government information.

  • Library of Congress (LOC):  Through its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), which began in 2000, the Library strives “to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations.” Here in North Carolina, institutions like UNC, NCSU, and the State Archives have partnered with NDIIPP on multiple preservation projects.  As part of its overall preservation strategy, the LOC maintains standards and formats used throughout the digital preservation community, including MODS, METS, and PREMIS.  Citizens from all countries can browse the LOC’s extensive list of digital collections and services.  These include the ever-evolving American Memory project, home to digital versions of historic photographs, documents, and sound recordings, as well as THOMAS, which makes legislative information freely available online.
  • As a counterpart to the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)’s Electronic Records Archives is a “strategic initiative to preserve and provide long-term access to uniquely valuable electronic records of the U.S. Government, and to transition government-wide management of the lifecycle of all records into the realm of e-government.” As more and more federal agencies produce the bulk of their materials electronically, NARA continually updates its workflows and technology to accommodate the preservation of these records.
  • The federal government also partners with outside institutions in preserving US federal information.  The CyberCemetery, a partnership between the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), “is an archive of government websites that have ceased operation (usually websites of defunct government agencies and commissions that have issued a final report).”

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