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The John F. Kennedy Presidential Digital Archive debut on the web for the first time this Thursday (January 13, 2011). Thursday also marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s inauguration.

A news conference to formally announce the launch will take place at the National Archives in Washington DC and include remarks from the Archivisit of the United States, David Ferrerio and Caroline Kennedy, President of the John F. Kennedy Foundation.

What Will the Digital Archive Contain?

The Digital Archive is an on-line archive of high interest materials from President John F. Kennedy’s official and personal records. It will be available to teachers, students, scholars, authors and the general public through any internet connection at For the first time, these original, official records will be accessible without traveling to the Kennedy Library in Boston. In addition, the digitization process has preserved these records by storing them on state of the art media, overcoming the deterioration of 1960s era paper, film, recordings and the like.  The Digital Archive includes over 200,000 pages, 300 reels of audio tape containing over 1,245 individual recordings of telephone conversations, speeches and meetings, 300 museum artifacts, 72 reels of moving images and 1,500 photos that have been digitized, described and loaded electronically.

The archive will be searchable using technology from Endeca (Cool! We’re big fans of Endeca around here) as well as 3Play Media.

You can learn more about the technology and project objectives in this ResourceShelf post from July, 2010 as well as this December, 2010 article from the Boston Globe.

See Also: “JFK Library to start largest converted digital archive” (by Alice Lipowicz, FCW)

The project has cost more than $6.5 million, with funding and assistance primarily from EMC Corp., AT&T Inc., Iron Mountain Inc. and Raytheon Co.

The Kennedy online library is said to be the largest to be converted from pre-digital formats. The most recent presidential libraries have much more substantial digital holdings, including George W. Bush’s, which contains 200 million e-mail messages, and Bill Clinton’s, which has 20 million e-mail messages.

Via Resource Shelf


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