The U.S. Copyright Office (part of The Library of Congress) has posted TWO Requests For Information (RFI) . The first is RFI is to learn about utilizing crowdsourcing to capture data from historical catalog cards dating from 1870 to 1977. The second RFI is to learn about purchasing or developing software for a “virtual card catalog” to access digitized historical records.
This RFI posted on the Federal Business Opportunities web site. It notes:
The Library expects to issue a future request for proposals the goal of which would be to select one or more organizations with the skills, experience and equipment to support the capture of information through crowd sourcing. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to determine the scope and extent of services available in the marketplace to accomplish the crowd sourcing effort.
The RFI goes on to add more info about the scope of the project:
There are about 70 million cards and pages among the records from which data will need to be captured to enable online searching and display of the information. The age, condition and formatting of the records limits the use of OCR and therefore much will need to be captured through keyboarding. Some of the data capture tasks will require analysis of the data such as extracting names and titles from the 49 million catalog cards. Some tasks will be semi-analytical such as noting whether a card header is a name or a title. Other tasks will be more specific such as capturing formatted numbers from a set location on similarly formatted cards or pages.
RFI: Virtual Card Catalog
The document is also posted on the government’s Federal Business Opportunities web site. Its purpose, “is to determine the availability of such software in the marketplace either as an existing product or as a potential development effort.”
The RFI points out:
The pre-1978 records in the Copyright Office reflect approximately 16.4 million original and renewal registrations dating back to 1870, and approximately 350,000 assignments, transfers and terminations of copyright ownership involving 1.7 million titles.
In March, we posted an item from the Copyright Office asking for feedback on their Copyright Matters blog about developing a virtual card catalog. It also included a mock-up of what a virtual record might look like.
Direct to Complete RFI (Request for Information)
Responses are due by May 15, 2012 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.