American Memory: Technical summary
URL for collection:
An integrated collection of the records, papers, and laws from the first
forty-two Congresses, as well as records of the Continental Congress and
the Constitutional Convention. These volumes are not easily available
and are poorly indexed. They will now be available as digital facsimile
images with selected titles keyed as fully searchable text. The
combination will offer unprecedented access to these documents. The
searchable House and Senate Journals will provide the principal gateway
to the Congressional debates by linking to the selected day. Searchable
subheadings and indices will provide additional entry points for the
debates, the American State Papers, and the Statutes at Large. The
collection ends in 1873 with the change from the Congressional Globe to
the Congressional Record as publisher of the Congressional debates. The
collection will contain page images for some 440 volumes (around 350,000
pages) with approximately 140,000 pages as searchable text. A set of
related reference works will be converted to enhance the collection.
- Source collection
From the Law Library of Congress the following core documents--Journal of
the House of Representatives of the U.S., 1789-1873; Journal of the
Senate of the U.S. 1789-1873; Annals of Congress, 1789-1824; Register of
Debates, 1824-1837; The Congressional Globe, 1833-1873; Journal of the
Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the U.S., 1789-1873; and other
- Technical features
Searchable text of journals linked to page images. Links by date from
within searchable text to relevant pages of debates which are in image-only
sets. A database supports page-turning and subject and date searching
of volumes that are only available as page-images.
- Original material formats
- Printed matter (documents), English language.
- Number of original items
- 440 volumes
- Status of collection
A 7-volume pilot of the first Congress released in March 1998, with
subsequent releases through 2001. No related reference works will be
included in the pilot.
- Public access:
- The Library is not aware of any restrictions that inhibit public
access to this collection. See notes on rights and
restrictions provided by the Library to users of this collection.
Aids to intellectual access
- Type & granularity
- Database for image-only sets, searchable text for Journals.
Each record in database provides subject and date access to the page.
- Linking to digital reproductions
- Database record contains identifier
used in "directory name" for each metaobject representing a document.
Numbering system in place to link searchable text to page images and
to images of relevant pages in image-only datasets. Page-turning set for
image-only documents. Text also contains SGML IDs for linking from
images in page-turning set to relevant point in searchable text.
Total file-space for digital reproductions:
47 Gbytes (est.)
||Archival text file
||Images for page-turning
||Filename extension ".tif"
||Filename extension ".gif"
||TIFF Group IV
||4 (in pilot)
||~5,000 (in pilot)
||~2,000 (in pilot)
Library of Congress contribution to Digital Libraries Initiative - Phase II