Magazine article Information Today

Library of Congress Digitizes Collections, Marks Doubled Traffic on Its Web Site

Magazine article Information Today

Library of Congress Digitizes Collections, Marks Doubled Traffic on Its Web Site

Article excerpt

The Library of Congress has announced that it will be digitizing its African American and Lincoln collections due to financial donations. In a separate announcement it said that usage of its Web site has more than doubled in the past year.

African American Collections Now Accessible Online

The Library of Congress will begin digitization of its major exhibition, African American Odyssey, and other important materials from its African American collections to make them accessible online. A grant of $1 million from the Citicorp Foundation will enable the library to start this project immediately. A preview of the exhibition is available at http://lcweb.loc. gov/exhibits/african/intro.html.

"The library's African American holdings are the strongest in the nation, and we are pleased to accept Citicorp's generous gift, which will make it possible for Americans everywhere to share in the riches of these collections." said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The impact of this exhibition, which focuses on the contributions of African Americans to this country's promise of equality for all, will increase exponentially, thanks to this donation."

African American Odyssey, on view in the library's Thomas Jefferson Building through May 2, draws from all corners of the world's largest library and presents materials in a variety of media, from books and manuscripts to prints, photographs, films, scores, maps, and oral histories It will remain available online indefinitely at

Using hundreds of items from the library, African American Odyssey tells in nine sections the story of blacks' quest for full citizenship: Slavery: The Peculiar Institution; Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period; The Civil War; Reconstruction and Its Aftermath; The Booker T. Washington Era; World War I and Postwar Society; The Depression, the New Deal, and World War II; and The Civil Rights Era.

The exhibition is based on a book published by the library in 1993, The African American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture, edited by Debra Newman Ham, professor of history at Morgan State University, former specialist in African American history and culture at the Library of Congress and guest curator of the exhibition.

Private Sector Gift to Digitize Rare Materials of Abraham Lincoln

A generous donation to the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress from Donald G. Jones, Terri L. Jones, and the Jones Family Foundation will make possible the digitization of the most important Lincoln materials at the Library of Congress. The gift will also help the library forge partnerships with other major repositories of Lincolniana, creating a "virtual library" of Lincoln materials linked via the Internet.

"Don Jones has been a friend of the library and, since 1990, a supporter of our electronic initiatives," said Billington. …

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