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LOC Funds U Illinois Virtual Content Preservation Project

The Library of Congress announced $2.5 million in grants for projects to establish digital format standards for preserving photos, films, music, and video games. The funding covers eight organizations involved in significant digital content projects, including UCLA's Film and Television Archive and the "Preserving Virtual Worlds" project at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

The funding comes from the Library's Preserving Creative America initiative, which in turn is part of its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. The Library said it hopes to encourage industry and the library-archiving community to develop standards for preservation cooperatively.

"We're not playing with our usual set of colleagues here," Elizabeth Dulabahn, the project's manager, told Federal Computer Week. "This is our attempt to reach out to the private sector in a very real way."

The Library said the University of Illinois project will be devoted to standards for preserving unusual content types such as digital games, interactive fiction, and content associated with the Second Life virtual world environment.

The work will involve developing basic standards for metadata, content representation and for conducting a series of archiving case studies. Partners on the project include the University of Maryland, Stanford University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life.

The UCLA project involves bringing awareness to the "awareness and education within the independent film community through symposia and workshops at major film conferences."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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