This is a guest post from Vidya Vish, The Library of Congress Contracting Officer for the Third Party Digitization RFP.
The Library’s collections include tens of millions of items – not just books, but also manuscripts, monographs, serials, newspapers, pamphlets, sound recordings, films, videos, sheet music, photographs, posters, microfilm and maps. Our collections are at the heart of the Library’s mission to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.
A critical strategy is to make our collections available, not just on-site here at the Library, but through digital copies on the Library’s website. The Library has just released a request for proposals for third party digitization – essentially seeking collaborators interested in digitizing Library collection materials at no cost to the Library. The Library invites proposals from commercial and non-commercial entities in the digital content community, such as e-book publishers or distributors, educational institutions, libraries, archives and others involved in the development of digital collections and dissemination of digital materials.
This formalizes a practice that goes back to microfilm days, where various companies reproduced our collections for their own distribution, and provided microfilm or digital copies back to the Library. Bringing in collaborators allows us to stretch our digitization resources further, making more collections publicly available faster. An open solicitation assures greater transparency and a consistent process that will be fair to all interested third parties.
Read all about it here.
And please, pass the word to anyone you know who might be interested!