The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) is the national digital preservation effort led by the Library of Congress. NDIIPP is administered by the Library’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Its mission is to “develop a national strategy to collect, archive and preserve the burgeoning amounts of digital content, especially materials that are created only in digital formats, for current and future generations.” Launched in 2001, NDIIPP is principally concerned with the following three areas:
- Capturing, preserving, and making available significant digital content. From the start, a priority for NDIIPP has been to safeguard important bodies of at risk digital content. Content now under stewardship by NDIIPP partners is varied, but focuses on geospatial information; web sites; audiovisual productions; images and text; and materials related to critical public policy issues (e.g., public health and medical preparedness, state and local digital publications and agency policy documents).
- Building and strengthening a national network of partners. The NDIIPP approach is based on findings from its early planning process that no single entity could realistically undertake sole responsibility to comprehensively preserve digital content, and that partnerships are necessary to ensure that information vital to scholars and researchers now and in the future will be saved. The NDIIPP national network currently has about 130 partners drawn from federal agencies, state and local governments, academia, professional and nonprofit organizations, and commercial entities.
- Developing a technical infrastructure of tools and services. NDIIPP partners work collaboratively to develop a technical infrastructure by building the information systems, tools, and services that support digital preservation. These include utilities that automate stewardship tasks and processing; operational services for digital content curation; and digital content delivery mechanisms among partners and between the Library of Congress preservation and access technical environments.
In 2000, Congress authorized $100 million to be directed to the Library of Congress for “a major undertaking to develop standards and a nationwide collecting strategy to build a national repository of digital materials."
The plan, "Preserving Our Digital Heritage: Plan for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program" (2002) was approved by Congress in 2002. The plan grew from the recognition that to create a successful and sustainable digital preservation infrastructure, NDIIPP should focus on four major goals:
- Stewardship network: Develop a growing national preservation network.
- National digital collection: Develop a content collection plan that will seed a national collection and preserve important at-risk content.
- Technical infrastructure: Build a shared technical platform for networked preservation.
- Public policy: Develop recommendations to address copyright issues and to create a legal and regulatory environment that both encourages incentives and eliminates disincentives to preservation.
The Program has completed its planning, development, and early implementation phases. The next phase of NDIIPP will ensure growth of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, with a goal of establishing partnerships in all 50 states. In addition, a structure will be put in place to support the development and deployment of tools and services across the Alliance, so that all partners have access to cutting-edge technologies. Building on collections already preserved by the NDIIPP partners and the Library of Congress' collection areas, the Alliance will establish a national digital collection that will ensure long-term access to digital resources of high value to Congress and the American people. NDIIPP will also work toward creating a public policy environment that supports best practices and provides incentives to preserve for the public good.