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The Library of Congress is the worlds largest library, containing more than 113 million items in nearly every language and formatfrom ancient Chinese woodblock prints and Sumerian clay tablets to compact discs. Founded in 1800 to serve the reference needs of Congress, the Library has grown into an unparalleled treasure house of knowledge and creativity.
As the copyright deposit library of the United States, the Library of Congress receives about one million new items each year, half of which are selected for the permanent research collections. Additional items come through gifts and donations, exchanges with national and international institutions, and purchases.
The collections include the papers of 23 presidents, and manuscripts of eminent Americans such as Booker T. Washington, Walt Whitman, Alexander Graham Bell, Frederick Douglass, Irving Berlin, Susan B. Anthony, and Charles Mingus. Other treasures include the first printed book in the Western world; the earliest surviving copyrighted film; and millions of maps and atlases, photographs, posters, microfilms, movies, rare books, music manuscripts, and radio and television broadcasts.
The Librarys Russian collections number approximately one and a half million volumes in Russian or about Russia. In addition to the print collections, there are important special collections in various formats including posters, photographs, sound recordings, motion pictures, manuscripts and musical scores. These collections are enchanced by acquiringthrough purchase or via direct exchange relations with Russian librariesthe most significant scholarly and creative works published each year in Russia, and about Russia.
Under the leadership of the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, the Library has embarked on a program to make its incomparable collections more widely available to the public. Through the National Digital Library Program, the Library of Congress is creating free on-line access to its catalog, exhibitions, and unique American collections as well as to congressional information. By the year 2000, the Librarys 200th anniversary, the Library will make accessible electronically millions of items from its collections and those of its institutional partners. The goal of the Librarys digital program is a public-private partnership that will create an informed citizenry through universal access to knowledge.
London-based Malone Gill Productions, which serves as a television producer for British and international broadcasters and cable channels, was founded in 1978 by former BBC producers Michael Gill and Adrian Malone. For the BBC, Gill produced Civilisation with Kenneth Clark, and Alistair Cookes America, while Malone made The Ascent Of Man with Jacob Bronowski.
In the first years of the company, Gill and Malone operated indepen-dently, maintaining bases both in the United States and Europe. Malone then left the company to make Cosmos with Carl Sagan, and remains separately based in Washington, D.C. Gill has continued to make award-winning programs and major series for Malone Gill Productions including:
Vermeer: Light, Love, and Silence, a documentary about the recent Vermeer exhibition held at the Mauritshuis and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.;
Highlanders, a film on the Highlands of Scotland, narrated by Sean Connery, that marked the 250th anniversary of the uprising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie;
Nature Perfected, a 12-part PBS series featuring gardens through history, written by William Howard Adams for Britains Channel Four and the Io Corporation of Japan;
The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World, a five-part Discovery series written by American historian Peggy Liss with the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes and presented by Fuentes;
Vintage: A History of Wine by Hugh Johnson, a series of 13 half-hour programs made for PBS and Britains Channel Four, praised by the British newspaper The Observer as televisions first food or drink masterpiece;
Treasure Houses Of Britain, a three-part PBS series presented by WETA documenting a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Art.
Numerous other programs and series have been produced by Georgina Denison for the company. Among them is Storm Chasers, a film for Channel Four and the Arts and Entertainment Network (A&E) about the men who chase tornadoesfor science, news, the community, or just for thrills; The Feast Of Christmas, a five-part series for Channel Four; Nomads, a series of four hours for Channel Four and A&E made in Kenya, Mauritania, Mongolia, and Siberia; Space Craft a Channel Four series of six half-hours on design for compact living; and Low Tech, a design-based series for Channel Four on throw-away style.
Upcoming projects for Malone Gill Productions include a series on China, a film on Matisse, a series on the advertising industry, a feature film for a family audience and another series on gardens.
Media-Most is Russias largest and most prominent privately owned media conglomerate. It includes Russias popular NTV television network, a radio station, six newspapers and a news weekly jointly published with Newsweek. NTV has received countless awards for its courageous reporting of the news and particularly its coverage of the war in Chechyna and production of Kukly, a political satire on public leaders in the Kremlin. Its publications are the most widely respected in post Cold War Russia.
In 1996, Media-Most expanded its television operations, including the launching of the first of a projected five satellite projects. The government also granted to Media-Most five additional channels known as NTV Plus, which carries a budget of USD 200 million. NTV Plus plans to expand the number of channels to over 30 in the near future, which will provide Russian viewers with a variety of sports and entertainment programs via direct broadcast satellite television. Expansion plans also include broadcasting to CIS countries and Russian language population in Israel, Europe and the U.S.
The founder and president of Media-Most is Vladimir Goussinsky, who is one of Russias most successful businessmen. In the early days of Perestroika, Goussinsky rapidly built one of Russias most innovative banks and established a real estate and construction company that spearheaded the rebuilding of Moscow. Today, Goussinskys various enterprises employ 13,000 people with assets of USD 750 million.
Goussinsky himself has become something of a legendary figure in Russia and in the West due to his entrepreneurial success, his bold championing of political economic reforms and freedom of the press, his leadership in developing the most professional elements of the independent news media, and his efforts to organize the first Russia Jewish Congress and serve as its president. Goussinsky is widely recognized in the U.S., Europe and Israel as a successful businessman, champion of freedom of the press, advocate for political and economic reforms, humanitarian and, given his influence in so many areas, as an individual who, as much as any single person in the private sector, is defining modern Russia.
Chicago-based distributor Public Media Inc. (PMI) offers quality video programming under three separate labels. HOME VISION SELECT is a leading source of outstanding documentary programming, including the landmark Civilisation series with Sir Kenneth Clark, and The Buried Mirror with Carlos Fuentes. HOME VISION ARTS is the most comprehensive collection of fine arts programming on video, boasting nearly 200 titles on art and artists. HOME VISION CINEMA is an unparalleled collection of classic and international cinema.
PMI is proud of its association with WETA, The Library of Congress, and Malone Gill Productions, states PMI Chairman, Charles Benton. The Face Of Russia is the result of extraordinary co-operation and collaboration among all of the partners.
The Face Of Russia will be distributed under the HOME VISION SELECT label and will be available to the home video market through video stores, bookstores, and museum shops, and to the education market.
WETA is the leading public broadcasting station in the nations capital, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. It is one of more than 340 television stations that make up the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the third-largest producing station for public television.
Founded in 1961, WETA is dedicated to producing and broadcasting television and radio programs of quality and integrity that recognize and challenge the intelligence of viewers and listeners, as well as providing program-related educational materials and outreach activities for both local and national communities. WETA devotes more than one-third of its television schedule to childrens programming.
This commitment to quality programming has enabled WETA to produce a number of landmark series: Ken Burnss The Civil War, Baseball, The West, Thomas Jefferson and Lewis & Clark: The Journey of The Corps of Discoverydrew international praise; The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer is a staple for news-hungry audiences; Washington Week in Review has provided insightful commentary and news analysis for more than 30 years; In Performance at the White House, hosted by the president and first lady, continues to bring the best of our nations talented artists to public television viewers; and performance specials such as The Kennedy Center Presents, the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth are national treasures shared with viewers from around the country.
Over the past 36 years, WETAs television and radio programs have received numerous honors, including several Primetime Emmys, DuPont Columbia Journalism Awards, Peabody Awards, the New York Festivals Awards and Ohio State Awards.
Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA.
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