The Library of Congress has announced the formation of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), a partnership of institutions and organizations dedicated to preserving and providing access to selected databases, web pages, video, audio and other digital content with enduring value.
The alliance is an outgrowth of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), which the Library has administered since 2000. In establishing the program, Congress directed the Library to work with other federal agencies and a variety of additional communities to develop a national approach to digital preservation. NDIIPP has achieved substantial success though partnering with more than 170 institutions to provide access to a diverse national collection of digital content. This work demonstrates that a collective effort can achieve far more than individual institutions working alone.
The NDSA will build on this accomplishment by focusing on several goals. It will develop improved preservation standards and practices; work with experts to identify categories of digital information that are most worthy of preservation; and take steps to incorporate content into a national collection. It will provide national leadership for digital-preservation education and training. The new organization will also provide communication and outreach for all aspects of digital preservation.
“It is clear that collective action is needed to preserve valuable digital information that our nation needs to support economic, scientific and cultural innovation,” said Laura Campbell, associate librarian for strategic initiatives. “The Library of Congress is committed to leading a distributed approach to digital stewardship. This is the best way to sustain and extend the Library’s historic mission to make resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people. It is also the best way for all cultural-heritage institutions to sustain and extend their missions in the midst of a revolution in how knowledge and creativity is created and disseminated.”
The NDSA will launch with a core set of founding members drawn from current NDIIPP project partners. Those members will develop a roadmap for immediate action, including a process for expanding membership. For more information, visit www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsa/.