09:03 AM ET 04/10/97

    American History from Across U.S. to Go On-Line Through Library of
                          Congress/Ameritech Awards

    10 Institutions Are First to Add Historical Collections to National
                          Digital Library Program

    WASHINGTON, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten libraries from across the United
States have been given awards totaling $600,000 through a partnership between
the Library of Congress and Ameritech to digitize historically significant
American collections and make them available for the first time via the
    As a result, some of America's treasured past from regions throughout the
country -- such as 19th century sheet music, photos documenting the settlement
of the Great Plains, and first-person narratives of Southern life in the 1800s
-- soon will come alive to millions via the Internet.
    The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition, a
three-year program made possible by a $2 million gift from the Ameritech
Foundation, enables U.S. libraries, archives, museums and historical societies
to digitize their collections of American historical materials for inclusion
in American Memory, the Library of Congress's on-line collection of primary
source materials in U.S. history and culture, available at
http://www.loc.gov/.  The Ameritech program is the first effort to make unique
collections from libraries across the U.S. available on-line via the Library
of Congress to millions of children, students, educators and lifelong
    "We are delighted to be able to offer our support to these exemplary
projects," said James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress.  "Integrating
these collections into our National Digital Library Program will not only
enhance the depth and breadth of available materials, but also make it truly
national in scope by providing access to collections in geographically
dispersed institutions from our American Memory site, which already includes
more than 400,000 items."
    "This is wonderful news for anyone interested in our nation's great
heritage and rich history," said Lana Porter, president of Ameritech Library
Services.  "Ameritech is proud that its efforts will help digitally preserve
thousands of historical items from across the United States and bring them
into libraries, homes and schools everywhere for millions to enjoy and
cherish.  This first-time endeavor truly boosts the national nature of the
digital library effort."
    The 10 first-year winners are:

    * Brown University, Providence, R.I., for "African-American Sheet Music."
Award amount:  $72,193.  This collection consists of 1,500 pieces of African
American sheet music from 1870 to 1920, providing a window into the daily
concerns and pastimes of African Americans in the 19th and early 20th
    * Denver Public Library, Denver, for "History of the American West, 1860-
1920."  Award amount:  $71,250.  This collection includes 7,500 photos
documenting the lives of the Plains, Mountain and Southwestern tribes of
Native Americans and the mining booms in Colorado, plus access to 48,000
previously digitized images in the Denver Western history collection.
    * Duke University, Durham, N.C., for "Historic American Sheet Music."
Award amount:  $64,688.  This collection consists of 3,000 pieces of historic
American sheet music from the period 1850-1920, representing a wide variety of
musical types, including bel canto; minstrel songs; protest, political and
patriotic songs; plantation songs; spirituals; songs from vaudeville, musicals
and Tin Pan Alley; World War I compositions; and Civil War battle songs.
    * Harvard University, Cambridge, MA., for "American Landscape and
Architectural Design, 1850-1920."  Award amount:  $33,214.  This collection
consists of 2,500 lantern slide images assembled to support teaching and
student presentations in the field of architecture, landscape architecture and
urban planning.
    * The New York Public Library, New York, for "Small Town America:
Stereoscope Views from the Dennis Collection, 1850-1910."  Award amount:
$74,956.  This collection includes 11,552 stereoscopic views representing the
tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
    * North Dakota State University, Fargo, for "The Northern Great Plains,
1880-1920."  Award amount:  $15,628.  These collections include more than
900 images documenting the settlement and agricultural development of the
Northern Great Plains.
    * Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, for "The African American Experience
in Ohio, 1850-1920."  Award amount:  $72,844.  This digital collection of
22,000 pages of text and images focuses on themes such as slavery and
emancipation, religion, public opinion and political actions.
    * University of Chicago, Chicago, for "American Environmental Photographs,
1897-1931."  Award amount:  $67,418.  This collection of 5,800 photographic
images documents natural environments, ecologies and plant communities in
their original state throughout the United States.
    * University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for "First-Person Narratives
of the American South, 1860-1920."  Award amount:  $74,782.  This compilation
of 100 printed texts documents the culture of the 19th century American South
from the viewpoint of Southerners, including diaries, autobiographies,
memoirs, travel accounts and ex-slave narratives.
    * University of Texas, Austin, for "The South Texas Border, 1900-1920."
Award amount:  $46,945.  This collection consists of 8,241 photographs of
northeastern Mexico and the South Texas border area, including images of the
diverse ethnic groups living in the area, military preparation for the Mexican
Revolution and World War I, and the natural and built environment.

    The approximately $600,000 in total awards to the 10 winners will be used
toward the cost of digitizing specific collections of Americana at the
institutions and making them available via the Library of Congress' site on
the World Wide Web.  The on-line availability of these collections via the
National Digital Library will vary depending on completion of the digitization
    Nearly 80 award applications from 31 states were received for the first-
year's competition, which were reviewed by three independent panels of
distinguished scholars, educators, archivists, librarians, administrators and
technical specialists.
    In formulating the competition guidelines and the evaluation process, the
Library turned to the National Endowment for the Humanities for expert
    Led by George Farr, director of the Division of Preservation and Access of
the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Deanna Marcum, president of the
Council on Library Resources and the Commission on Preservation and Access,
three successive panels evaluated applications for historical significance,
technical viability and the relevance of collections to current and planned
American Memory collections.
    "Together the projects provide a wide array of compelling new images of
people, places and events from the Texas border and the agricultural heartland
to the towns and cities of the Eastern Seaboard," Mr. Farr said.
    "A marvelous variety of collections were proposed for digitization; we
were delighted by the diversity in topics and approaches," Ms. Marcum said.
    Additional information on the Library of Congress/Ameritech National
Digital Library Competition, including summaries of the projects of the first
award recipients, is available at:

    * The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition
      Web site -- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/award/
    * The Ameritech Web site -- www.ameritech.com
    * The Library's Web site -- http://www.loc.gov/

    The goal of the National Digital Library Program is to make freely
available over the Internet millions of items by the year 2000, in
collaboration with other institutions.  Ameritech's contribution is helping
the Library meet that goal by providing funds to libraries and other
institutions to aid them in the critical, yet expensive, task of making their
unique American collections widely available to anyone with access to the
World Wide Web.
    The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, with more than
111 million items, including the papers of 23 U.S. presidents.  Its
collections are in nearly every language and format -- from Chinese woodblock
prints to compact disks.  Founded in 1800 to serve the reference needs of
Congress, the Library has grown into an unparalleled treasure house of
knowledge and creativity.
    Ameritech Library Services develops and distributes library management
systems and information access products worldwide.  With headquarters in
Provo, Utah, an affiliate office in Evanston, Ill., and offices in 13
countries, the company serves more than 5,000 client library sites in 34
countries and is the world's leading provider of library automation software.
    Ameritech (NYSE: AIT) serves millions of customers in 50 states and
40 countries.  Ameritech provides a full range of communications services,
including local and long distance telephone, cellular, paging, security
monitoring, cable TV, electronic commerce, on-line services and more.  One of
the world's 100 largest companies, Ameritech (www.ameritech.com) has 66,000
employees, one million shareowners and $24 billion in assets.

SOURCE  Ameritech

CONTACT:  Media, Guy Lamolinara of Library of Congress, 202-707-9217 or
glam@loc.gov, or Rick Aspan of Ameritech, 312-364-3570 or

CO:  Ameritech; Library of Congress
ST:  Illinois

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