You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

"Yes We Scan," A Project to Bring the Library of Congress to the Internet

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, December 22 2011

The Center for American Progress' John Podesta and open-government pioneer Carl Malamud are heading up a new effort called Yes We Scan: A call for the federal government to do a better job of digitizing all of Washington's many cultural treasures, from the Library of Congress to the National Technical Information Service, and making them available online.

In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama and posted yesterday, Malamud calls on the White House to conduct a comprehensive review of current archiving efforts and come up with a plan on how to proceed from there.

From the letter:

When Thomas Jefferson donated his books to create the cornerstone of the Library of Congress, his library contained a wealth of useful information, from an extensive collection on the law to books on agriculture, chemistry, surgery, and medicine. With this contribution, Jefferson saw to it that the government of the United States would play a central role in the increase and diffusion of knowledge. It is time now for us to lay the cornerstone for our own era, to anchor our digital age with the vast holdings of our government so that we may promote the useful arts and the progress of science.

A corresponding petition on the White House's e-petitioning platform, We the People, has 373 signatures. If it gets 25,000 signatures before Jan. 20, the White House will be obliged to respond.