10 June 2006
Big news for practitioners and proponents of Digital History: the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum yesterday announced a massive project to digitize and make available online all of the millions of documents, images, and audio and video recordings in their collection. See more in the Press Release.
Being one of the twelve such Presidential Libraries under the direction of the National Archives (NARA), hints that they might all eventually get this treatment. If they can do it, who else might follow? Keep those cards and letters coming …
JFKL&M is getting help from EMC who are donating hardware and software assistance, estimated to be worth 1 Million $US. Good press and credibility for EMC – more power to them. Featured is the EMC Documentum product – a suite of management and “transformation” tools to support digitizing, data management, and web delivery. I worry a little that this suggests some proprietary software platforms or storage formats, but trust that core data will be available to the end users in standard web-friendly formats like .txt, .xml, .pdf, .jpg.
“The project to digitize the collection is expected to take more than 10 years and will begin with the official papers of President Kennedy”, says the press release.
Keep your eyes on this one as it goes forward. The potential here – for all of us – is enormous.