Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Library of Congress... the world (almost) at our fingertips!

Whenever I watch stuff like this, it amazes me that regardless of the amount of technology at our disposal, we still have so far to get "everything" at a state that is accessible by all. The numbers in these two videos were staggering:
  • 700 TB of data
  • 200 TB available to the public on the web due to copyright issues
  • 120 Million Books
  • 36,000 feature films
  • 100,000 + music sheets and recordings (they also keep a lot of information on Vinyl too!)
  • 1% of all the Library of Congress information digitized and made available on the web.

Although they didn't go too far in depth with how they are storing it, yet the capacity and the individual technologies involved for the various "forms" of artifacts were amazing. From simple pictures, to lateral scanning, to the (apparent) painstaking process of the copy process where each picture had to be physical placed on the scanner. The amount of time and effort put into this process seems like a never ending task. But keeping "America's Memory" intact is a big job!

What I found to be the most interesting was the collections from other countries that the LOC stores. I don't think I realized that there was as much information from other countries in our national library. I foolishly expected it to be solely American, but I guess if you're trying to maintain the worlds largest library, you have to get information from all over.

As I explored the LOC's website, I came across the educator section of the site which I found to be quite interesting. With a blog, information on using Primary sources and links to their partners, it's encouraging to see the amount of development that is going into sharing this information with educators from all over. 

Questions that made me go, "hmmm"

As I watched, it made me wonder how long ago the movies were made? I found out they were published to YouTube in 2009. This isn't too shocking actually, I expected them to be older (probably because of them not being HD.

How much more information is being gathered due to the digital age we live in?  With the amount of information we're already behind on (and I don't mean that negatively), at what rate is the capacity of the LOC growing? WIth all of the people working on the old stuff, what type of technology and manpower is being using to capture current and up-to-date information?

How has the storage technology changed since this time? I know most organizations have morphed to a Storage Area Network over the past few years, for power saving and redundancy?  How many backups does the Library of Congress have? 

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