One of the largest card catalogs in the world, the U.S. Copyright Office card catalog comprises approximately 46 million cards. Photo by Cecelia Rogers, 2010.
The following is a guest post by Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. See the new U.S. Copyright Office blog at http://blogs.loc.gov/copyrightdigitization/
Help Wanted: Have you ever attempted to build an electronic index and searchable database of a complex and diverse collection of 70 million imaged historical records? Neither have we.
Current records dating back to 1978 are available online and searchable at www.copyright.gov/records. The office’s records date back to 1870, however, and many pertain to works still under copyright protection. These records are the focus of our current digitization efforts. This is an ambitious project that I announced recently as one of several priorities and special projects the U.S. Copyright Office is undertaking. To date nearly 13 million index cards from our card catalog and over half of the 660 volume Catalog of Copyright Entries have been scanned, and the images have been processed through quality assurance and moved to long-term managed storage.
So, back to the earlier question: How do we go about creating a searchable database comprised of 70 million digital objects? For that matter, how do we create metadata for such a large volume of records? Assuming we would like to achieve full-level indexing, how do we do so on a rudimentary indexing budget? What technologies and creative approaches can we profitably employ to get this work done? We welcome your ideas and suggestions on these and many other questions related to this project.
The Copyright Office historical catalog serves as the mint record of American creativity, and there are great benefits to making the collection accessible online. We know that working collaboratively will ensure that the final product best meets the needs of the widest audience of users. I hope you will subscribe to our project blog at http://blogs.loc.gov/copyrightdigitization/ and visit our project web page at www.copyright.gov/digitization from time to time. Most of all, I hope that you will be an active partner in this important effort.
The following is a guest post by Donna Scanlon, Electronic Resources Coordinator in our Collections and Services Directorate. (Donna used to contribute to “Inside Adams,” the blog of the Science, Technology and Business Division): If you have been in any of the Library of Congress reading rooms lately you may have had an opportunity to […]
Quite often I have to “sit on” very exciting news here until all the details are put into place, and whatever we’re going to announce is ready for prime-time. Such is the case with the new version of our Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC, pronounced “P-pock”), which has launched within the past few days. […]
(This is a guest post by Audrey Fischer of the Library’s Public Affairs Office) Whether you know her as half of the “Kathie Lee & Hoda” show or as veteran broadcast journalist and co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s Today Show, come to the Library of Congress this Friday to hear Hoda Kotb speak about […]
(Guest post by Michelle Springer, Library of Congress Office of Strategic Initiatives) Jan. 16 is the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Library’s account on Flickr, the photosharing website. We started with approximately 3,100 photos in our account; today 30 additional archives, libraries, and museums from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, the […]
For the past 10 weeks, 47 college students have been digging through a variety of Library of Congress collections–finding amazing stuff so people like you can come here and get lost in it. Such as? Such as an ad for a patent medicine that figured in an 1898 murder case; a first edition in Russian […]
Blog. Twitter. YouTube. iTunes. Yeah, we speak Web 2.0. You nation’s Library has millions of stories to tell, so we’re trying to tell them as many places and to as many people as possible–whether on our own website or elsewhere. And now you can add another biggie to the list: iTunes U. For those who […]
Today is one of my favorite days of the year, because it is one of the most compelling versions of “show and tell” anyone will ever get to see!
Every year for the past few years, thanks to the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the James Madison Council, the Library of Congress’s private-sector advisory group, as many as 50 interns have come to the Library through the Junior Fellows program.
They spend several weeks during the summer combing through both uncataloged copyright deposits and collections acquired through gifts, looking for “hidden” gems. And every year they do not fail to impress.
Past finds have included a 1900 blueprint for a proposed expansion of the White House; a 1906 photograph of baseball great Cy Young; a typescript of Cole Porter’s 1916 debut Broadway musical, “See America First”; a 1954 home movie of Marilyn Monroe; and an orchestral score by Jerry Goldsmith for the 1968 film “Planet of the Apes.”
This year, 200 items were showcased, including Copies of the Virginia and New Jersey Plans (1787) upon which the current bicameral U.S. political system is based; a map of the proposed U.S. Capitol grounds by F.C. De Krafft (1822); selected items from the Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Collection (1841–1935); the April 21, 1865, issue of the Weekly National Republican, which details Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and its aftermath; a rare first-edition piece of instrumental sheet music for the “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin (1899); a rare print of “The Rajah’s Casket” (1906) by Pathé Frères, one of the first companies to experiment with the use of hand-coloring in motion pictures; and items pertaining to the 1929 film “Applause,” directed by Rouben Mamoulian, along with personal snapshots of the director on holiday with Greta Garbo.
Check out some highlights after the jump.
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Holly Morris of Fox-5 (WTTG) is traveling the greater Washington, D.C., area this week, leaving clues as to where she will next turn up on the ?Fox 5 Morning News.? Yesterday it was a cave in West Virginia, but today it was ? drum roll, please ? the Library of Congress! You can check out […]
I can imagine affecting my best Andy Rooney voice as I type this, but did ya? ever notice how I tend to blog a lot more on Fridays? Well, the phone usually rings less and I am pulled into fewer meetings, so I try to squeeze in a few moments to blog. At any rate, […]