The Digital Public Library of America has just launched. DPLA, as it is called, is the first public online-only library that has been made available online. A free open source of digital collections and archives from across the country are now live and in one place. With a series of partnerships, such as, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, New York Public Library, the University of Virginia, Harvard, Digital Library of Georgia, Minnesota Digital Library, Mountain West Digital Library and others have contributed. Text, audio and videos may be searched by place or time on their website.
Executive Director Dan Cohen has stated that the library currently holds over two million items with tens of millions to follow. “The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard initiated the project, but it rapidly became a much larger collaboration between numerous libraries and digital archives.”
The DPLA’s original mission statement, says Harvard University librarian Robert Stanton, “An open, distributed network of comprehensive online resources that would draw on the nation’s living heritage from libraries, universities, archives, and museums in order to educate, inform, and empower everyone in the current and future generations.”
Special online exhibits include A History of Survivance: 19th c. Upper Midwest Native American Resources, This Land Is Your Land: Parks and Public Spaces, a 1514 manuscript of The Book of Hours, daguerreotypes of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and works by Thomas Jefferson. A selection of census, vital and Civil War era records as well.
Dan Cohen’s welcome blog to the DPLA post here. In his three easy steps to use DPLA, he explains how to use the new digital library using three key elements. DPLA is a platform. Developers make apps that use the library’s data in different ways.
App Library include: The LibraryObservatory from Harvard is an interactive tool for searching DPLA collections. Search DPLA and Europeana uses previously known or unforeseen information and goes directly to the digital version of an item. The DPLA’s application programming interface (API) and open data can be used by software developers, researchers, and others to create novel environments for learning, tools for discovery, and engaging apps.
Become a developer.
The Exhibitions: if you are an activist, this is the place to view activism in America throughout modern history.
America’s Great Depression and the Roosevelt’s New Deal, Black Tuesday and the worst economic meltdown in the history of America.
History of Survivance: Upper Midwest 19th Century Native American Narratives. The demise of the Native American culture.
Explore by Date: Scroll across the timeline, each line will tell you how many items are available.
Explore by Place: Maps.
You may also subscribe to the newsfeed from DPLA or email lists.
Get involved: Become a Service Hub.
Forums:Talk to other like-minded folks.
After tooling around this site I have to say I am very excited about what they have to offer, the site also is user friendly with easy drop-down tabs. I know how everyone loves those drop-downs! If you are a history buff or have nothing better to do with your day; I highly recommend you make time to browse the DPLA. It will be worth it.