L.C. Native American Scanning

Two years ago the Library of Congress and LLMC partnered to scan, catalog, and bring online some 285 titles containing Native American constitutions, charters and legislation.[1] That collaboration provided the first big building block toward replicating online the substantial Native American Collection of ca. 1,660 titles that LLMC offered on film during its fiche era.


It was hoped from the beginning that in a second phase of LC/LLMC collaboration a large number of early and rare treatises related to American Indians could be scanned and added to both collections. Unfortunately, this time of sequester and other mindless cuts to the budgets of cultural institutions would not seem an auspicious moment to rekindle the collaborative flame. After all, as reported in the New York Times just this week, the Library of Congress’ budget for digitization, which was $1 million in fiscal 2012, has been cut to $500,000 in the current fiscal year. In the words of Rep. Rodney Alexander, a Louisiana Republican who chairs the appropriations sub-committee that oversees L.C.’s budget: “Times are tough, and we every so often have to make difficult choices between the nice-to-haves and the must-haves.”


Despite these dismal portents we are happy to report that L.C. has placed a high enough priority on the Native American project that it has scheduled at least 500 American Indian titles for scanning in this next fiscal year. The scanning has already begun, and we expect that in the next few months, as LLMC completes the cataloging, this rich lode of research material will begin to flow online. Kudos to our colleagues and friends at L.C. for continuing their good work, even under the most trying of circumstances.

[1] The last report on the Native American scanning project appeared in the Oct. 25, 2011, issue of this newsletter (Issue # 49, pp. 3-4). The substantial contribution that LC has made to our Native American offerings can be reviewed on the attached LLMC Titles-Offered List, lines 6823-7208 and 84-95. (Note that when the remodel of the LLMC-Digital interface is completed  {see pp.3-4 this issue} we will acquire the ability to multilist titles in more than one collection. In the new format, the U.S. Interior Department titles that are specifically related to Native Americans will also appear in the appropriate order within the Native American Collection.)