May 20, 2022

The Library of Congress Awards Multimillion-Dollar Contract For Preservation Microfilming & Digitization to Backstage Library Works

Nine months after the initial solicitation was released a Library of Congress contract for the preservation microfilming/digitization of print materials was awarded to Backstage Library Works (BLW) (based in Pennsylvania) on September 3, 2014.

The dollar amount of the contract is $1,699,967.00 for the first year with options for four additional years.

The estimated total award for the five years is $8,089,504.00.

Background and Scope of Work to Be Done (From Synopsis via

The Library of Congress has monographs, serials and other printed works in need of preparation for preservation reformatting (microfilming, microfiche, and/or digital imaging). Many of these materials are in foreign languages and could be in any script, including Arabic, Asian, and Cyrillic language scripts. Many volumes or issues may be brittle or deteriorated, with physical damage, such as, torn pages or loose bindings. Many volumes or issues are in soft bindings or are not bound. Volumes may vary in length from a few pages to hundreds of pages. Items may range in size from a few inches in both dimensions to large posters, maps, folios and newspapers. The serials include periodicals and official government publications, both bound and unbound, and newspapers. Some materials may be recently produced or published.

The Contractor shall perform all preparation for all microfilming and digitization at the Contractor’s facility. The Contractor shall collect and pack materials from the Library’s storage areas, transport the volumes to the Madison Building loading dock where they shall be loaded on the Contractor’s vehicle for transport to the Contractor’s site.

The deliverables shall include an archival master micro form, a duplicate negative, and a microform positive service copy, in 35 millimeter open-reel microfilm or 105 millimeter microfiche in accordance with industry technical, editorial, and bibliographic standards

For some material only a digital surrogate may be produced; a digital file from scanned or digitized microform images may also be requested. Upon request both a microform and digital surrogate may be produced for the same material. The Library notes that one key purpose for preservation imaging is to create an archival copy; distribution of these copies will follow a careful determination of their copyright status. The Library will not require the Contractor to perform work if, by doing so, the Contractor will infringe upon third-party rights under the Copyright Law of the United States.

Under this contract, no work (microform or digital) may be subcontracted to another vendor.

Learn More

The award announcement and links to the complete can be found here. The page has also been archived by The Wayback Machine.

The page includes links to all supporting documents including the solicitation (from January 2014) that includes specifics (page 4) about what LC has contracted for.

For example, the contract calls for BLW to provide LC with 1.3 million high contrast frames during each year of the of the contract.

We’ve also embedded a copy of the solicitation below.

Solicitation LCLSP14R0002

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.