Collections as Data: Preservation to Access to Use to Impact
International Conference on Digital Preservation
The Library of Congress has many millions of objects it has either digitized or acquired in born-digital formats. The first priority is to preserve, process, and provide access to digital collections via loc.gov. Most of these collections are free and available to anyone around the world, and their existence online represent the culmination of a huge amount of time, effort, and expertise. The Library of Congress has embarked upon an effort to maximize the use of our digital collections, promote
... innovation at the institution, and grow national capacity for cultural memory. This paper will describe how developing and executing a program around promoting collections as data has enabled the expansion of internal and external partners, deepened the exploration and value proposition of digital collections, engaged a broader community, and provided new skills to librarians who are working with collections as data. The programs that will be outlined will include the development of a digital scholarship lab which seeks to provide support for computational engagement with collections, testing different training models for digital skill building, and launching Innovator-in-Residence programs that showcase how data analysis techniques can change digital scholarship and digital curation landscapes. These partnerships and pilot projects build on the digitization and preservation efforts of the Library by broadening the scope of engagement and providing compelling use cases that amplify the impact of digital collections.