|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
John Ober (510) 987-0425
CALIFORNIA HISTORY AND CULTURE AVAILABLE
$1.5 MILLION SUPPORTS THE CALIFORNIA DIGITAL LIBRARYS ONLINE ARCHIVE OF
The California Digital Library has received $1.5 million from three federal
programs to support the ongoing construction of a major digital collection of photographs,
manuscripts, organizational records and other significant materials from organizations in
California that contribute to the rich history of the Golden State.
Through a collection called the Online Archive of California, patrons of the digital
library (at www.cdlib.org) can access a fascinating
array of materials that include photographs of the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco
earthquake, diary pages from a member of the ill-fated Donner party and sketches and
artwork created by early California residents.
The materials, comprising well over 100 separate archival collections with digitized
materials, also include scenes of early agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley, views of
the borax industry, photos of early travel in Californias national parks, gold rush
mining towns and the states oil industry, as well as objects held by UCLAs
Fowler Museum and UC Berkeleys Berkeley Art Museum.
Patrons can also consult online the inventories, or "finding aids," of more than
3,000 collections of archival materials housed in more than 40 separate libraries,
museums, historical societies and other California organizations.
These inventories document and describe materials as rich and varied as Californias
multi-faceted past. Collection themes range from the television and film industries to the
Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley; from papers associated with individuals involved in
politics, literature and architecture to a county sheriffs wanted notices at the
turn of the century; from organizations such as the Sierra Club to the California
Federation of Teachers to the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.
Digital access to the finding aids and to the primary source materials has been highly
praised by the scholarly community and has been incorporated experimentally into the
curriculum of primary and secondary schools in California through special collaboration
with UC Berkeleys California Heritage and Interactive University projects.
The new financial support supplements an ongoing commitment by the University of
California to enhance the Online Archive of California (OAC) both by extending the number
of organizations and their finding aids, and by digitizing and making available much more
of the primary source materials -- the photographs, manuscript pages, artworks and papers
-- within those collections.
A $400,000 grant from the Library Services and Technology Act to the California Digital
Library (CDL), administered by the California State Library, will enable the creation of
the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive. Plans include digitizing text, visual
material and audio content drawn from oral histories, plus designing OAC finding aids to
navigate the material.
This will be a cooperative project involving nine OAC participants: UC Berkeley, UCLA, the
Japanese American National Museum, California State Universities at Fullerton and Sonoma,
the University of the Pacific, the University of Southern California, the California
Historical Society, and the California State Archive.
Because the Japanese-American population at the outbreak of World War II was largely in
California, the holdings of California libraries on relocation issues are especially
strong, including, for example, the official Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement
Records at UC Berkeley, the records of the Manzanar War Relocation Center at UCLA and
numerous collections of personal papers of prominent Japanese Americans who lived through
With a $500,000 "National Leadership" grant from the Institute of Museum and
Library Services, the CDL and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley
will lead a group of eight museums in evaluating the capabilities of the digital finding
aid technology, known as Encoded Archival Description, to integrate their collection
descriptions into the OAC virtual archive collections.
An additional $600,000 from the Library of Congress (LC) will support cooperation between
OAC and LCs National Digital Library Program. Funds will be used for digitizing
materials related to several important historical themes with a strong connection to
California. These include a focus on the Japanese-American relocation materials, as well
as the Russian presence in early Northern California; California Missions and their role
in the settlement of the state; and the especially strong holdings of OAC member libraries
related to the westward migration, collections that powerfully complement and expand
existing Library of Congress digital collections in its American Memory program.
The convergence of shared goals, standards, technical capabilities and program commitments
presents a unique opportunity for the Library of Congress and the University of California
to leverage, mutually reinforce and enrich their digital collections of unique primary
"The combination of these three independent sources of support and collaboration for
the Online Archive of California is a vote of confidence for the importance of the
materials as well as for continued leadership from California in building digital
collections," said Richard Lucier, university librarian and executive director of the
"Were proud of and thankful for the collaboration represented by the OAC.
Collaboration is inherent in its success and funding, has been essential for development
of the supporting technologies and is the only way to build these important digital
collections for scholarly and public use."
Enhancement of the Online Archive of California and digitization of additional primary
source materials will make them readily available to thousands of scholars, community
leaders, writers and artists, students, and citizens who are unaware of these unique
collections or unable to travel to dozens of California archives to use them.
Complementing the physical libraries on the nine campuses of the University of California
system, the California Digital Library focuses on selecting, building, managing,
preserving and providing access to shared collections of high-quality digital materials
for UC and its partners.
Browsing and searching tools at the CDL provide enhanced access to the MelvylŪ Union
Catalog of book materials held by UC campuses and a number of partners, a union list of
periodicals located in more than 500 libraries in California, electronic journals from
major scholarly publishers, journal abstracting and indexing databases, and the archival
finding aids of the OAC. Many of these resources, notably Melvyl, the California
Periodicals database and the OAC, are available to the public.
More information about the CDL can be found at <http://www.cdlib.org>;
about the Institute of Museum and Library Services at <http://www.imls.fed.us>; about the Library of
Congress at <http://www.loc.gov/>; and about the
federal library funding administered by the California State Library at <http://www.library.ca.gov/html/grants.html>.
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Editors: For additional information about the California Digital Library, please call John
Ober, CDL assistant director for education and applied research, at (510) 987-0425; or
contact him by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Additional information about the California Digital Library may be found on the CDL Web
site at <http://www.cdlib.org>.