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JFK Presidential Library Partners with 3Play Media and Endeca on Historic Build of Nation’s First Online Presidential Archives

3Play Media to provide interactive transcription and captioning services for JFK Library archives

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – July 8, 2010 – 3Play Media, an interactive transcription company, today announced that the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation have selected 3Play Media to provide interactive transcription and captioning for the nation’s first online digitized presidential archives. 3Play Media will work with its partner Endeca, which will provide the software and technical assistance for a robust search experience.

In 2006, Senator Edward Kennedy announced an unprecedented effort by the Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, in partnership with the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA), to build a “digital library” consisting of the papers, records, photographs, and recordings of President John F. Kennedy. The online archives, consisting of historical documents and images associated with the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, would be made accessible to global citizens, students, and scholars via a portal in the Kennedy Library website (www.jfklibrary.org).

Project objectives include:

  • Preserve the records, manuscripts, photographs, documents, video and audio files, and objects held in the collections of the Kennedy Library’s Archives and Museum;
  • Minimize wear and tear on these irreplaceable physical assets (vulnerable to deterioration from human handling and environmental exposure);
  • Create a permanent digital library that provided online accessibility to these historic treasures for a worldwide audience;
  • Enhance the public’s ability to search these collections using metadata and state-of-the art search technology;
  • Protect these national treasures by keeping a digital copy in a separate location; and
  • Serve as a prototype for the National Archives and other Presidential Libraries in developing standards and protocols for universal application.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the first among American presidential libraries not “born digital” to undertake the creation of a digital library. Of the 13 presidential libraries in existence today, only President Bill Clinton’s and President George W. Bush’s contain born-digital materials. The Archivist of the United States gave his support to this pilot project at the Kennedy Presidential Library, believing it would serve to inform the work of the other Presidential Libraries.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will implement 3Play Media’s interactive transcripts that will integrate with Endeca’s Publishing Suite with Page Builder and the SEO Module to power the search functionality of the digital archives, which will launch on January 20, 2011, the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration as the 35th President of the United States. With the site’s new SEO capabilities, the library can more closely connect its site and web search, making www.jfklibrary.org more attractive to search engines and as a result, boost site traffic. In addition, Page Builder will allow non-technical library staff to create and publish dynamic topic pages that surface relevant content based on the key terms visitors use to search and navigate the library’s website, creating a more intuitive user experience.

“Our library’s research facilities are among the busiest of its kind, so it was essential for us to find new ways to make our archives – and all their varied multi-media – accessible to everyone from the most seasoned historian, to school children experiencing this information for the first time,” said Tom Putnam, Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “The new jfklibrary.org search, powered by Endeca, will enable us to provide the wealth of our historical assets to a diverse and ever-growing public by strengthening our online presence and the ability to shape a more meaningful user experience for our visitors.”

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s archives currently include more than 8.4 million pages of the personal, congressional and presidential papers of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and more than 40 million pages of over 300 other individuals who were associated with the Kennedy Administration or mid-20th Century American history. In addition, the archives hold more than 400,000 still photographs; 9,000 hours of audio recordings; 7.5 million feet of motion picture film; and 1,200 hours of video recordings.

About John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

About 3Play Media

3Play Media is a leading provider of time-synchronized transcription services, specializing in highly interactive and cost effective transcription, captioning and media search services. Their customers include universities, major corporations and web companies. 3Play Media began in 2007 as an MIT startup and is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit www.3playmedia.com.