The Library of Congress, which includes millions of books, records, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections, is looking for a cloud-based approach to interacting with digital collections as data.
In a September 30 post on Beta.Sam.gov, the Library of Congress said it received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation titled “Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud”. The $ 1 million grant was awarded in October 2019. The purpose of the grant was to test the cloud-based approach to interacting with digital collections as data, specifically to support researchers who are creatively applying styles of emerging research to the Library material.
“As technology advances, we envision a future in which all users – researchers, artists, students and others – are limited only by the questions they can think of asking; where scale, complexity, uniqueness and speed are aligned to support their goals and translate into radically transformed ways of understanding the world around us, “said Kate Zwaard, the Library’s director of digital strategy, when the grant was The Library of Congress, which includes millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections, is seeking a cloud-based approach to interact with digital collections as data is assigned.
With its publication, the Library is seeking to award contracts for up to four research experts to “test solutions to problems that can only be explored on a large scale.” The Library works with subject matter experts and its IT specialists throughout the contract process. The goal of the research process is “to help produce models to support cloud-based research computing and will make the costs and possibilities of this work more transparent to the wider cultural heritage community.”
The library is looking for a “diverse group” of research approaches for the exploratory project and is looking for technical, topical and early stage research provocations in multiple formats and collections. Research experts awarded contracts through this process will have access to a range of library collections, computing resources in the cloud infrastructure, and research expertise from digital scholarship librarians.
“Projects proposed within this program area should come from researchers who can demonstrate adequate disciplinary, linguistic and historical knowledge, as well as technical, data and cloud computing skills to carry out projects with limited support from staff library as well as research support, and information on library data practices, ”the Library of Congress said in its announcement.
The application process is twofold. Researchers will first submit concept papers by 30 November 2020. Subsequently, a limited number of researchers will be asked to submit detailed project proposals. The Library organizes Virtual Sectoral Days to answer questions on October 28th at 1pm and October 29th at 4pm. The research will last nine months from May 2021 to January 2022. The proposed research budget cannot exceed $ 77,500. Once the search is complete, the results will be publicly available.