Library of Congress Releases App with Mobile Access to Digital Collection
- By Dian Schaffhauser
On Friday, the Library of Congress celebrates its 220th birthday. The nation's library manages about 410 million digital files — 15.9 petabytes worth of digital collection content. To celebrate, the Library has released the "LOC Collections" app, which makes its digital collection available on any mobile device.
The collection includes audio recordings, books, videos, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, notated music, periodicals, photos, prints and drawings. Besides being able to search and explore the collection, users can also set up personal galleries of items for their own reference and share their curations with others.
"The Library of Congress collection can now fit in your pocket," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, in a statement. "The Library started 220 years ago with 740 books and three maps. Today, that collection has grown to make us the largest library in the world and a storehouse of our national history. It's been our goal to throw open our treasure chest and help every American connect to the Library of Congress. The LOC Collections app is a uniquely personal, easy new way to explore the nation's library."
The app was designed and developed by the Library's own experts in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, and patrons performed usability testing before its release. Users can currently find LOC Collections for iPhone and iPad at the Library's website or the iTunes store. An Android version of the app is planned for release later this year.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.