The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is launching a massive project to post 48 million pages of documents, 400,000 photos and 1,200 hours of video on the Internet.
The late president's papers will be digitized first, and could be available on the Internet in 18 months, said Allan B. Goodrich, the library's chief archivist.
The entire projects, which also includes 7.5 million feet of motion-picture film and 9,000 hours of audio recordings, is expected to take a decade to complete.
"President Kennedy loved history and drew inspiration from it. Hopefully, by making these collections widely available, we can inspire new generations in many lands," the late president's youngest brother, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, said Wednesday.
The JFK Library undertaking will serve as a pilot program for a presidential library system that has more than 400 million papers, said Sharon Fawcett, assistant archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration, which has responsibility for all 12 presidential libraries.
The project will uses computer equipment and technical support donated by EMC Corp. in Hopkinton.