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In This Issue: Technology’s Memory

Bernard F. Reilly, Jr.
President, The Center for Research Libraries


This issue of Focus on Global Resources highlights the Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL), a new CRL Global Resources program that is preserving the vast technical literature produced by U.S. federal government agencies, and making that literature available openly accessible on the Web. The program was conceived and initiated by a multi-university team of dedicated librarians and engineering specialists led by Maliaca Oxnam of the University of Arizona. TRAIL has now scanned more than 1.9 million pages of public domain technical reports in engineering, nuclear science, health and safety, and other scientific and technical fields.

Related to the technical literature digitized by TRAIL are the important collections of crucial technical documents held by CRL. As Gwen Ihnat’s article shows, these collections not only document the history of government-funded achievements in science and engineering, but provide a window to the monitoring of those activities by U.S. and British intelligence agencies.

Scholars and researchers, who will be mining these materials for years, owe a debt of thanks to the TRAIL librarians and others in the CRL community.