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Library of Congress secured a $1M grant to pilot infrastructure for digital research

The grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud project will allow the institution to better digitize its collections.

Inside the Library of Congress. (Photo via U.S. government)

The Library of Congress (LOC) has been awarded a $1 million grant to pilot tech infrastructure to support digital research.

The grant came from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud project so the LOC can focus on using tech to better digitize its collections, per a press release.

The LC Labs, its digital innovation team, powers the LOC’s digital strategy by way of collaboration, fellowships and experimenting with new tech. In collaboration with subject matter experts and IT personnel, the Labs will use the funding to test a cloud-based technique for managing digital collections. The LOC is also selecting a cohort of research experts to help it develop models for cloud-based research computing.

“As technology advances, we envision a future in which all users — researchers, artists, students and more – are only limited by the questions they can think to ask; where scale, complexity, uniqueness, and speed are aligned to support their goals and result in fundamentally transformed ways of understanding the world around us,” Kate Zwaard, the LOC’s director of digital strategy, said in a statement. “We’re excited that the Mellon Foundation has agreed to help us explore how to make our vision a reality.”

This effort aligns with the LOC’s five-year plan launched this year to update its access and digital services. The Enriching the Library Experience strategic plan includes four main goals: Expand access, enhance services, optimize resources and measure results.

This is the second grant that the LOC was awarded from the Mellon Foundation this year. Back in February, the LOC nabbed a $540,000 grant to help guide archive retention for the national collection of books in U.S. research libraries.

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