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t is generally considered to be easier to
obtain funding for digitisation for access
than for preservation.The long-term bene-
fits and requirements of preservation seem
often to be overshadowed by the immediate
benefits of current access initiatives, there-
fore the core funding of the NDIIPP is an
important step towards a long-term com-
mitment to preserving `fragile' information.
he programme is co-operative and
the Library of Congress will work
jointly with both federal and non-federal
institutions including the National
Library of Medicine, the National
Agricultural Library, the Research Libraries
Group (RLG), the Online Computer
Library Center (OCLC) and the Council
on Library and Information Resources
(CLIR) to develop a network of collab-
orative partners. "The Library of Congress
has gained an enormous amount of
knowledge from its partners in this initia-
tive.We look forward to a continued suc-
cessful collaboration as we work together
to preserve digital materials before they
are forever lost", said Associate Librarian
for Strategic Initiatives Laura Campbell.
It is hoped that all participating institutions
will be able to contribute expertise to the
project and will benefit from the techno-
logical infrastructure set up.
lthough the Library can now move
forward with developing the details
of the plan and set up the policies, proto-
cols and strategies for the long-term
preservation of materials, a further $75
million of private `matching' funds must
be raised in order to receive the remaining
$75 million from Congress.
The Plan for the National Digital
Information Infrastructure and Preser-
vation Program can be downloaded at:
Pouce will feature in the next DigiCULT
Technology Watch Report, due in Feb. 04
he Archives Hub forms one part of
the UK's National Archives Network
and is guided by a steering committee
which includes representatives of the
Public Record Office and the Historical
Manuscripts Commission. Anyone may
use the Hub by logging on to:
n international resource, the
United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation
(UNESCO) Archives Portal, can be found
he Archives Hub service allows users
of various levels of expertise to
access over 10,000 online descriptions of
archival collections held by higher and
further education institutions in the UK.
It provides a single point of access to
ever-increasing numbers of descriptions
of archival collections that are available
for research in universities and colleges.
he co-operation of small to medi-
um-sized organisations in offering
a single point of access to distributed
collections is growing in popularity.
An experimental project, Pouce
has performed such a task in a number of
museums in France. A full case study on
n February this year, the plan for the
National Digital Information
Infrastructure and Preservation Program
(NDIIPP) was approved by the US
Congress.This approval releases $20 million
of a total $100 million in funding which
will allow the programme, led by the
Library of Congress, to begin the initial
phase of creating a national infrastructure
for the collection and long-term preserva-
tion of digital content.
he Plan for the NDIIPP outlines
both the reasoning and the strategy
of the programme. It opens: "Digital tech-
nology is radically transforming the ways
that we create and disseminate informa-
tion.This new technology has created a
surfeit of information that is extremely
fragile, inherently impermanent, and diffi-
cult to assess for long-term value... Never
has access to information that is authentic,
reliable, and complete been more impor-
tant, and never has the capacity of libraries
and other heritage institutions to guarantee
that access been in greater jeopardy." In
other words, there is a plethora of cultural-
ly and historically significant material that
is here today, gone tomorrow and therefore
steps must be taken to preserve it.
he main goals of the NDIIPP are
summarised by the Plan:
" seek national solutions for
- the continuing collection, selection and
organisation of the most historically
significant cultural materials and of
important information resources,
regardless of evolving formats;
- the long-term storage, preservation and
authenticity of those collections, and
- persistent, rights-protected access for the
public to the digital heritage of the
American people."
Hub (n.) A centre of activity or interest; a focal point.