Library of Congress host to worldwide law partners
Bell Atlantic gives $1.5 million to NDL Program
Vive la France
The Library and copyright in the digital age
GLIN is a network of legal databases housed at the Library that offers users access to the laws of foreign countries over the Internet.
"It is very gratifying to have so many enthusiastic and active partners in GLIN," said Rubens Medina, the Law Librarian and GLIN Project Director in the United States. "Much was accomplished during the three days of meetings with current and prospective GLIN partners."
The Library of Congress's Law Library provides answers to questions from members of Congress and others who need to know how other nations have handled legal issues. "There are tremendous similarities in the way nations legislate," said Dr. Medina. Congress looks to other nations for inspiration in writing laws just as other nations look to the United States as an example, he added.
Rather than having to rely on paper copies of legal gazettes, which sometime arrive at the Law Library as long as six months after they have been published, when Congress asks a question about a foreign law, the Law Library's legal specialists can now provide a response within minutes from the GLIN database.
To fulfill its congressional mission, the Law Library has for many years collected official gazettes from throughout the world as a primary source of legal information for its staff of more than 20 foreign legal specialists. Many official gazettes are unindexed, making it difficult to retrieve the information published in them. Thus in the 1950s the Law Library began a card file that included summaries of the laws and regulations in the official gazettes. Subject terms were assigned to the laws to enable retrieval of the full text.
In 1976 the card file became an on-line file known as LAWL in the Library's mainframe databases and included the Spanish-speaking nations of Latin America, plus Brazil and Haiti, Portugal and the former Portuguese and Spanish colonies in Africa. Several jurisdictions were added later, including the Philippines and Spain.
Countries with Current or Pending GLIN Membership
The GLIN Project is a natural outgrowth of the earlier projects. Its goal is to encourage government agencies and other partners worldwide to exchange the full text of their primary legal sources over the Internet. Members of the GLIN network contribute to the GLIN database, then have electronic access not only to the data they have input but to the entire GLIN file. Currently the file includes data from 29 nations (the former LAWL file) as well as the new data being contributed by GLIN partners.
GLIN Project Teams from nine countries received training in 1994 and 1995 and began the GLIN project at their own workstations. Additional teams will be trained this November and next February. It is expected that there will be 20 member countries by spring 1996.
The Law Library is negotiating a cooperative agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to upgrade GLIN's technological capabilities using satellite technology. The Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank are sponsoring various countries in their areas of interest, and the Library's Congressional Research Service (CRS) Special Task Force has also supported the project in various countries where CRS is assisting the development of the parliamentary libraries.
The Law Library hopes eventually to set up "regional servers" to store data and train other GLIN members. Dr. Medina sees the Law Library as becoming more of a "facilitator" in GLIN on an equal basis with other nations that provide training and assistance.
-- Guy Lamolinara
Public Affairs Office
For additional information,
contact Rubens Medina,
GLIN Project Director,
Return to the Table of Contents
According to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, contributions from corporations, such as Bell Atlantic, are bringing the National Digital Library (NDL) Program to life.
The $1.5 million gift to the Library presented on Sept. 22 by Bell Atlantic President and CEO Ray Smith "shows how something talked about can be made real, namely the public-private partnerships" that so far have contributed nearly $18 million for the NDL Project since it began in October 1994.
"The Library wishes to thank Ray Smith and Bell Atlantic for their generous support of the Library and its education programs. Bell Atlantic's contribution will enable the Library to continue to share its unique historical collections with the American people," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.
During the news conference, held in the Digital Library Visitors' Center, Mr. Smith announced the beginning of the Bell Atlantic Project CANDLE (Creating a National Digital Library for Everyone), established to improve American education through high technology. "Project CANDLE reflects our determination to add a dramatic dimension to learning, to light a new pathway to knowledge and information," said Mr. Smith.
Also participating in the news conference were students and teachers from Washington, D.C., and Bridgeville, Del. The teachers and students, who are in the fifth, seventh and eighth grades, demonstrated how they could use the Library's on-line primary source materials in their studies to help develop critical thinking skills.
Led by Martha Dexter, from the NDL Program's educational services team, the students and teachers took a "virtual" tour of turn-of-the-century Washington using images from the Detroit Publishing Co. Collection, whose 25,000 images are now available on the Library's World Wide Web homepage.
The students were shown, for example, a view of the Capitol from East Capitol Street with a streetcar riding down the middle. Ms. Dexter invited them to take a copy of that photo and go to East Capitol Street to see how the neighborhood and everyday lives have been changed by commercial and technological development.
Dr. Billington then explained how the NDL Program has enabled the Library to reach a new constituency: K-12 students, who are not served in the reading rooms. A survey conducted during the Library's American Memory pilot project determined that K-12 students were the heaviest users of the Library's digitized materials.
American Memory was a five-year pilot, begun in fiscal 1990, in which the Library provided digitized materials to 44 schools, colleges and libraries across the country. The survey showed that K-12 teachers used American Memory collections to teach the research process - how to begin research, analyze results and communicate results to others. The students learned how to integrate digitized resource materials with those they obtained from traditional sources.
Rather than replace books, "electronic collections are bringing people back to books," said Dr. Billington. "And these digitized primary source materials let students draw their own conclusions about what they mean and their importance."
He then introduced Mr. Smith, who praised the Library and Dr. Billington for sharing with the "people of this country the finest collection of knowledge ever known on this planet."
The NDL Program is important to Bell Atlantic, said Mr. Smith, "because we are in the business of communicating with people."
"There are two steps to the process," he said. "Step 1, digitizing the collections and step 2, making them available to absolutely everyone. The gift today is for step 1, but we also want to help with step 2. Our Project CANDLE will work to provide more access to schools throughout our territory."
The gifts from Bell Atlantic and others have enabled the Library to digitize more than 300,000 items. These include selected Civil War photographs of Mathew Brady, notebooks of Walt Whitman and early motion pictures, 1897-1916. Ten of the Library's major exhibitions are also available, as is the Library's on-line catalog and THOMAS, a database of congressional information.
The $1.5 million gift brings the Library of Congress closer to achieving its goal of raising $45 million in private funds for the NDL Program. The Library has asked Congress to appropriate $3 million over the next five fiscal years, or $15 million total, for the NDL Program. By 2000 the Library hopes to have raised $60 million through congressional and private funds.
-- Guy Lamolinara
Public Affairs Office
Return to the Table of Contents
Beginning Sept. 8, visitors to the Library could view treasures from the best of French culture, courtesy of a collaboration between the Library and the Bibliothéque nationale de France.
So too could people as far away as Hawaii or even Hong Kong, thanks to the digitized images and text from the exhibition that are available on-line from the Librarys World Wide Web homepage.
Since 1992 the Library has offered electronic access to its major exhibitions on the Internet. That year, two exhibitions went on-line: featuring formerly secret documents, and in celebration of the Columbus quincentenary.
documents 12 centuries in the development of the French nation. It is the second in a series of exhibitions featuring the great libraries of the world. The first brought treasures from the Vatican Library to Washington, and in 1996, the Library of Congress will host the Dresden Library.
"Creating French Culture" traces the relationship of culture and power in France from the time of Charlemagne (742?-814) to Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970). It is divided into four sections, beginning with "Monarchs and Monasteries: Knowledge and Power in Medieval France." A psalter-hymnal of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (about mid-11th century) is included in this section. According to the exhibition catalog, "Throughout the Middle Ages, the Parisian abbey of Saint-Germain-des Prés was a well-known and influential intellectual center from its royal beginnings to the 18th century. Its distinction, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, stemmed from the brilliant work of its monks."
Section II, "The Path to Royal Absolutism: The Renaissance and Early 17th Century," relates to the political and cultural history of France from 1498 to 1661, from Louis XII's ascendance to the throne through Louis XIV. It was during this time that France looked to Italy as an inspiration for its own flowering of the arts.
One of the most beautiful pieces in this section of the exhibition, indeed in the entire exhibition, is "Julie's Garland." This 1641 painting by Nicolas Robert for a book of verses inspired by the loveliness of Lucine-Julie d'Angennes was given to her by her future husband.
In Part III, "The Rise and Fall of the Absolute Monarchy: Grand Siécle and Enlightenment," the exhibition takes a look at the second half of the 17th century through the end of the following century. The plan of Louis XIV (1643-1715) to dominate European culture showed promise with the international recognition of French creativity, which was largely fueled by state patronage. The so-called Sun King oversaw the creation of academies in the arts and sciences dedicated to reinforcing the "royal religion."
A 1641 Selenographia, or description of the moon, by astronomer Johannes Hevelius is the first lunar atlas, and is included in Part III. The author himself engraved the illustrations for his text.
The final section, "From Empire to Democracy: The Independence of Culture," covers the period 1799 to the present. In it is a vividly colored excerpt from Panthéon égyptien (1815-1825), by Jean-Francois Champollion, who is credited with being the first to decipher hieroglyphics.
This section also offers a humorous illustration of the transmogrification of King Louis-Philippe into a pear. The pen-and-ink drawing by Charles Philipon was made in 1831, while he was on trial for publishing an antiroyal caricature.
According to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, the marriage of culture and power as it exists in France "is difficult for Americans to understand, born as we are under written documents that set ... bounds upon central authority [and] that are skeptical and separatist with respect to power."
Taking a tour of "Creating French Culture," either on-line or in person, should go a long way toward lessening that difficulty.
-- Guy Lamolinara
Public Affairs Office
EXHIBITIONS ON-LINE LIBRARY OF
Return to the Table of Contents
"Digitization and the Internet now make it possible to transmit electronic materials anytime, anywhere. Both hard and electronic copies can be made at the press of a button. But intellectual property rights of creators can be compromised by the technology that makes near-instantaneous transmission of data possible. Those using this information may not even know they are violating intellectual property rights." (Library of Congress Information Bulletin, June 12, 1995, p. 267).
Many of the works that could potentially be included in the Library's National Digital Library Program are protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and/or by the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. Additionally, the reproduction of some materials in the Library's collections may be restricted for other reasons, including rights of privacy or publicity, or special terms in the Library's gift or purchase agreements.
Thus the Library's initial digitization efforts are focusing on works in the public domain or works for which authorization has been obtained from rights holders. However, the Library also recognizes that policies and procedures need to be established for handling copyright issues associated with its digital collections, such as allowing use in accordance with the terms and conditions of the rights holders.
Copyright Pilot Projects: The Library is planning a small number of copyright pilots to gain experience with possible solutions to these problems. The goal is to help the Library and other participants in the National Digital Library effort develop approaches for the inclusion of copyrighted content on their Internet servers. The pilots will also address the problems associated with providing electronic access to older materials for which copyright status cannot be determined. In later phases, these pilot projects will also experiment with permissions procedures and test automated systems that protect the work while providing authorized access.
MESL Project: The Library is currently participating in a pilot called the Museum Educational Site Licensing Project (MESL), sponsored by the Getty Art History Information Program and MUSE Educational Media. In this project seven museums and cultural institutions, including the Library, are permitting seven universities to have access to selected digitized museum images and related documentary materials for a two-year test period without royalty payments. (It should be noted that the Library makes all its digitized materials available for free over the Internet.)
The purpose of the MESL project is to experiment with offering limited,
protected access to high-quality digital images provided by the participating
institutions for bona fide purposes, including classroom teaching, research,
analysis and other educational uses. One key goal is to develop a model site
license as a prototype that can be used across a broad spectrum by museums
offering digitized images and universities using those images for educational
purposes with permission and, where necessary, payment of royalties.
MESL Participants Museums and Universities
Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure: In addition to other initiatives related to copyright protection in the digital age, Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights of the U.S. Copyright Office (Library of Congress) actively contributed to a two-year analysis and study by participating federal agency experts, chaired by Bruce Lehman, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, that resulted in the recently issued federal "white paper" report on Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure: The Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights. Print copies of the report, which was issued on Sept. 5, are available by calling the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at 703/305-8341. It is also on the Internet at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/doc/ipnii/, or point a Gopher client to iitf.doc.gov, or telnet to iitf.doc.gov (log in as gopher).
Fair Use: While "fair use" under the U.S. Copyright Law (Section 107) permits users to reproduce a copy of selected items for certain limited purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship and research, further reproduction or transmission of protected works requires permission of the copyright owners and may require payment of royalties to the rights holders even for some library and educational uses.
The Library of Congress has been participating in a yearlong series of meetings of rights holders and representatives of education and library organizations who are negotiating to determine whether guidelines can be developed for the "fair use" of electronic works by libraries and educational institutions. Such voluntary guidelines, if they can be agreed on, would be similar to four sets of guidelines developed under the current Copyright Law, which went into effect in 1978.
These include the guidelines for classroom reproduction of books and periodicals; classroom use of music; the guidelines on photocopying and interlibrary loan arrangements of the Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyright; and guidelines for off-air recording of broadcast programming for educational purposes.
CORDS - Electronic Copyright Registration and Deposit: Looking to the digital future, the Library and the U.S. Copyright Office are collaborating on development of the Copyright Office Electronic Registration, Recordation and Deposit System (CORDS). The new system will allow applicants to submit copyright applications and deposit their works electronically. Applicants will be able to prepare their applications and deposit materials in machine-readable formats, to "sign" their submissions using public key/private key encryption technology and to send applications, deposits and documents for recordation to the Copyright Office over the Internet, using Privacy Enhanced Mail.
The Copyright Office will receive the digital submissions through the Internet, verify that each one is authentic and complete, debit fees from the applicant's Copyright Office deposit account and send an electronic acknowledgment to the applicant. The Office's digital repository will hold these digital copyright deposit works in a secure and verifiable manner. Testing will begin in November 1995.
CORDS is also being designed to help rights holders manage their copyrighted works more effectively in the new digital environment by permitting electronic registration and deposit and by making ownership and licensing information more readily available to users seeking to clear rights to copyrighted works.
U.S. Copyright Office,
Return to the Table of Contents
Return to the Periodic Report from the National Digital Library Program Home Page
Visit Digitized Historical Collections via American Memory
Go to the Library of Congress Home Page