Data with high potential information value must be carefully selected, appraised, organized, stored and disseminated. Recognizing this critical management need, the Council on Library and Information Resources' Digital Library Federation (CLIR/DLF), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and six universities have partnered to sponsor the Data Curation Fellowship Program. This two-year postdoctoral fellowship brings together information professionals interested in acquiring the diverse skills needed to become a professional data curator, serving as researcher, librarian, technology adopter and policy maker. Acknowledging differences in their own views and experiences, early fellows recognized the need to promote a culture of data sharing to connect stakeholders across technology, disciplinary and institutional boundaries and to develop an infrastructure to support data curation. It is hoped that serious work in data curation will lead to professional recognition of the specialty.