“Katrina taught the dangers of having all records in one state,” she says. “Many vital records now are only digital, and having them backed up in just one server zone is not practical.”
The library also is about to start 10 partnerships with study centers at universities around the country to collect content on the Web that falls within their area. One example of these, she says, is an Afghan study center that would have valuable pertinent information she defines as “whatever is relevant to what Congress might need to know to do its work.”
It’s important to emphasize that the library’s focus is on material that is made to be available only in digital form rather than in analog materials, notes Nan Rubin of public television’s WNET Channel 13 in New York. He is in charge of a pilot project within the NDIIPP, learning how to keep for posterity TV programs such as “Nature,” “Frontline” and “Religious and Ethics News Weekly,” a current-affairs show seen Sundays on many PBS stations. All are created in digital format.
“We picked them because they represent three kinds of production work flow,” she says, “and also because they represent programs our stations have produced. In some ways, we are major documentarians and major interpreters of the culture.”
Her team consists of people from WNET and WGBH in Boston — the two stations responsible for 60 percent of prime-time public television material — and from New York University, which she says has expertise in designing digital libraries in the academic and scholarly arena.