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U.Va. Library Named To The Digital Library Federation

Dec. 2, 1999 -- The University of Virginia Library, nationally recognized as being at the forefront of providing digital collections and services, was recently invited to join the Digital Library Federation (DLF). The federation is a consortium of select research institutions with a common goal to create, maintain, expand, and preserve a distributed collection of digital materials accessible to scholars and to the wider public.

Formed in 1995, The DLF operates under the umbrella of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), an organization that works in partnership with libraries, archives, and other information providers to advocate collaborative approaches to preserving the nation’s intellectual heritage.

Deanna Marcum, president of the CLIR, said that "from the earliest days of the Digital Library Federation, we identified the University of Virginia as an institution doing important digital library work. We very much wanted U.Va. to join us because we recognize the leadership role the institution has played in setting the standards for digital collections. We are delighted to welcome U.Va. as the newest member of the federation." Founding members of the consortium include university libraries at California-Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, Emory, Harvard, Michigan, Penn State, Princeton, Southern California, Stanford and Tennessee-Knoxville.

The U.Va. Library was selected because of its strength as a developer and supplier of digital information, she said. The breadth of the U.Va. Library’s digital collections is among the most extensive of any research library in the country, benefiting from an intensive program of building collections of electronic texts, digital images, sounds, videos, and geospatial and social science data. The rate of growth of digital material at U.Va. shows an impressive doubling every two years.

The U.Va. Library operates a variety of digital centers to which students, faculty, and scholars from around the world can visit either in person or via their computers. One of these digital centers, the Electronic Text Center, was the first of its kind when it opened in 1992 and is now a model for similar efforts throughout the country. It provides 45,000 humanities-related texts and images on the Internet. The texts are primarily in English, but also include materials in French, German, Latin and other European languages, as well as in Japanese and Chinese. Both the Electronic Text Center and the library’s online catalog register more than one million uses per month from around the world.

"We believe that the direction in which the DLF appears to be moving is a good match for the history of our digital programs and our current goals," University Librarian Karin Wittenborg said. "We are prepared to be active in such areas as standards and best practices development, digital collection development, and in research and development of digital library architectures."

Over the next five years the U.Va. Library will seek to accelerate its efforts to build the large-scale collections of digital resources that are needed by a top-ranked university, taking care to provide the widest access possible, she said. The electronic text collections already double every two years, and with continuation of that trend, the library expects to add 45,000 electronic texts in the next two years. The library plans to expand its current collection of 13,000 digital images to approximately 500,000 images. In addition, the library will coordinate its efforts with other institutions within the state and around the world to ensure access to the broadest array of digital resources

For more information about the Digital Library at the University of Virginia, contact Thornton Staples, director of Digital Library Research and Development, at (804) 924-3975.

Contact: Melissa Norris, (804) 924-4254

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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