The Information Heritage Initiative

  • The Information Heritage Initiative

The EMC Information Heritage Initiative recognizes organizations and individuals leading the way to protect and preserve the world's information heritage. EMC and its partners in this philanthropic and commercial initiative believe that information should be preserved, protected, and made globally accessible in digital form.

Helping preserve the irreplaceable

This initiative makes historical documents and cultural artifacts readily accessible for research and education via the Internet. EMC and initiative partners work with diverse organizations throughout the world to protect valuable information and improve access to international treasures.
In addition to the investments made by initiative partners, EMC provides financial assistance, in-kind donations, and proven expertise. These contributions complement EMC's other corporate philanthropy programs.

Guarding our information heritage

Today, much of the world's priceless, irreplaceable information remains undigitized and at risk. It resides in the collections of national museums and the archives of the world's great institutions of science, engineering, business, and finance. It also includes the treasured collections of the smallest local libraries—and other items in public institutions and private hands.

Recognizing information stewardship

Across the globe, dedicated individuals and organizations serve as stewards of information collections and compilations. To be considered for recognition by this initiative, a person or project must exhibit achievement—or show high potential—in one or more key roles:
Guardian: Effectively uses all aspects of digitization for the preservation and protection of the world's information heritage.
Guide: Leverages digital tools to enhance access to the world's information heritage.
Advocate: Uses digital tools to promote effective stewardship of the world's information heritage—or applies digital tools to facilitate use of that heritage in an educational environment.

Initiative honorees at work

Here are some of the organizations which EMC has recognized as leading the way to a true stewardship of the world's information heritage:

Ernest Hemingway’s Finca Vigía Foundation

World-renowned author Ernest Hemingway made his principal home at Finca Vigía, his residence near Havana, Cuba, from 1940 to 1960. Since his death in 1961, it has been operated by Cuba’s El Consejo Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural (CNPC), which has been working to restore and conserve Hemingway’s literary and cultural artifacts. On May 10, 2010, EMC announced that it will provide equipment and technical support to assist the Finca Vigía Foundation with continued restoration of Hemingway’s books, artwork, letters, photographs, scrapbooks, and manuscripts at Finca Vigía. The restored originals will remain in Cuba. Digital copies will be hosted at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston, Mass. An encrypted backup copy of all the information will be stored in an EMC cloud for disaster recovery purposes. The project will offer the world an intimate glimpse into the life of one of the 20th century’s preeminent authors.
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Herzogin Anna Amalia Library (Weimar, Germany)

In September, 2004, fire struck the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library, home to a unique collection of Faust first editions and Goethe documents, as well as thousands of other books, maps, and atlases from the 15th-19th centuries. The fire destroyed more than 50,000 irreplaceable books and manuscripts and severely damaged tens of thousands of other items. In 2006, the library began archiving and preserving its assets digitally making them available to the world online.
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Interview with the Anna Amalia Library director

Jikji (Korea)

The Baekunhwasang Chorok Buljo Jikji Simche Yojol ("Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings") is the world's earliest known document created using movable metal type. Heungdeok-sa Temple priests invented the process and used it to produce the Jikji in 1377. Their accomplishment predated the creation of the Gutenberg Bible by 78 years. Jikji Volume II has been ensconced in the Biblioth que Nationale de France since 1950. But Volume I remains missing and is now designated a "Memory of the World" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize

JFK Library (Boston, USA)

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum is in the process of digitizing and archiving its entire collection including 8.4 million pages of JFK's personal, congressional, and presidential papers; 9,000 hours of audio recordings; 7.5 million feet of motion picture film; 1,200 hours of video recordings; 400,000 photographs; and 40 million pages donated by individuals associated with the Kennedy administration and mid-20th century history.
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Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of humanity's greatest intellects. More than 5,000 of his notebook pages still exist, including the famous "Codex of Flight" and its bird-inspired diagrams of flying contraptions. Bringing Leonardo's genius back to life in a breathtaking way is Leonardo3, a multimedia laboratory that has created a digital "Codex Atlanticus" from Leonardo's manuscripts. For the first time ever, captivating, high-resolution 3D reconstructions let people see how Leonardo truly must have visualized the details of his astonishing machines. The "Codex Atlanticus" and "Codex on Flight" are presented through museum exhibitions around the world.
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Visit the Lenorado3 Web site

Library of Congress (Washington, D.C., USA)

Preservation is about not just the past, but also the future. The Library of Congress, which has more than 134 million physical items in its collections, is spearheading the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program authorized by the U.S. Congress in December 2000. The Library is collaborating with federal agencies and others in the information community to collect, archive, and preserve physical items and burgeoning amounts of material "born digital" for the benefit of current and future generations. Currently, the Library is digitizing and copying 750,000-1,000,000 items annually. On June 5, 2007, EMC announced that Laura Campbell, the Library's Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives and Director of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, received the EMC Information Leadership Award.
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Library Of Congress' Laura Campbell Honored With EMC Information Leadership Award

Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C., USA)

For more than two decades, the Smithsonian Institution has been making progress toward digitizing its vast collections. Now the Smithsonian is preparing for a major digitization effort. Digitizing the collection won't replace visiting the items on display, but it will provide greater access to the vast amount of knowledge at the Smithsonian-including artifacts that are either too fragile for public display or currently not on display due to space restrictions.
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Yad Vashem (Jerusalem, Israel)

Established in 1953, Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority is a 45-acre complex of museums, gardens, exhibits, archives, and libraries. The center documents the extermination of six million Jews, the destruction of their communities, their ghetto and resistance fighters, and people who risked their lives to save Jews. On April 28, 2003, EMC announced the implementation of the Yad Vashem Data Storage and Recovery Center, and in 2005, Yad Vashem started digitizing visual materials related to the Holocaust.
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