December 11, 2017

A Look at the Acquisition and Preservation of Video Games at The Library of Congress

Here’s a very small portion of a very interesting in-depth Q&A interview with David Gibson, a moving image technician at The Library of Congress (via The Signal) about collecting and preserving video games at the library.

Trevor Owens (NDIIPP): First up, can you tell us a bit about the extent of the collection. Roughly, how many games are in the collection? What range of dates are they from?

David: The collection as it now stands consists of about 3,000 games for a wide variety of platforms and 1,500 strategy guides, in addition to descriptive documentation that comes through Copyright with the games and about 50 examples of gameplay footage on VHS or DVD.

Now can anyone find out what games the Library of Congress has? Are they mostly cataloged and listed in the Library’s general search system? Are there any tricks to how they are cataloged and are they all out in the The Packard Campus A/V Conservation facility?

David: All of the strategy guides are currently listed in the Library’s Voyager cataloging system, which can be searched by anyone over the web through the Library OPAC.  Back when the games were housed in the Main Reading Room, records for those were all also made in Voyager, but those are gradually becoming outdated and phased out.  We’re currently creating records for all the video games in the Moving Image Section’s MAVIS database which users will be able to access in the Moving Image reading room in the Madison Building on Capitol Hill. Additionally, we plan to create collection level records in Voyager that will give researchers a broader overview of the types of game related materials held, for instance by a specific company or series.  During this transitional phase, we welcome your questions, and don’t hesitate to address holdings queries to myself (dgib@loc.gov) or my colleague in the Moving Image Section, Brian Taves (btav@loc.gov).

Read the Complete Interview

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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