Alexander Graham Bell papers come online
March 24, 1999
(CNN) -- The Library of Congress' online project, the National Digital Library (NDL), has expanded with the addition of four new collections to its American Memory Web site, including the extensive family papers of Alexander Graham Bell.
NDL began in 1995, financed by congressional appropriations and private donations. The project, which receives $15 million in public funding, raises 75 percent of its funding from private sources, including a $3.5 million contribution from the AT&T Foundation to place the collections of Bell and Samuel R.B. Morse online.
AT&T's gift was the largest corporate donation to the NDL program so far.
There are now more than 40 electronic collections available online. The goal of the online project is to have millions of items from the library and other repositories available to the public by the year 2000, the bicentennial of the Library of Congress.
The new online collections include:
The Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers: This collection of 1,400 items consists of correspondence, scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles and photos documenting Bell's invention of the telephone as well as his work with the first telephone company. These first-time released documents also trace his family life, interest in the education of the deaf, and other scientific research.
An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera: "Webster's New World College Dictionary" defines ephemera as "printed matter (as theater programs, posters, guidebooks) meant to be used for only a short time but preserved by collectors." This NDL collection of Americana presents 50 items reflecting the experiences of those who lived through everything from the American Revolution to the Industrial Revolution. A full release of all 28,000 items in this collection is planned for later this year.
The South Texas Border 1900-1920: Photographs from the Robert Runyon Collection: This collection of Runyon's photographs of the Lower Rio Grande Valley in the 1900s, depicts the development of South Texas as well as the Mexican Revolution.
Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection: This online presentation of the religious and secular music of Spanish-speaking resident of rural Norther New Mexico and Southern Colorado, is taken from recording made by Rael in 1940. Rael, of Stanford University, was a native of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico. He used disc recording equipment supplied by the Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center) to document hymns, folk drama, wedding songs and dance tunes. The collection also includes manuscripts and publications by Rael that provide insight into cultural traditions of the region.
AT&T donates millions for National Digital Library
Library of Congress
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