The Digital Public Library of America Launches Today, Opening Up Knowledge for All


A group of top Amer­i­can libraries and aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions launched a new cen­tral­ized research resource today, the Dig­i­tal Pub­lic Library of Amer­i­ca (DPLA), mak­ing mil­lions of resources (books, images, audio­vi­su­al resources, etc.) avail­able in dig­i­tal for­mat. First hatched as an idea at Har­vard’s Berk­man Cen­ter for Inter­net & Soci­ety, the DPLA is now real­iz­ing its vision of being “an open, dis­trib­uted net­work of com­pre­hen­sive online resources that draws 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.”

The Dig­i­tal Pub­lic Library of Amer­i­ca rolls out today as a beta site with some kinks to work out. Some links to mate­ri­als don’t work at the oth­er end. And right now the offer­ing is built around a mod­est num­ber of online exhi­bi­tions that have been dig­i­tized by cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions through­out the coun­try, accord­ing to Robert Darn­ton, a dri­ving force behind the DPLA. When you vis­it the site, a dynam­ic map and time­line will help you nav­i­gate the col­lec­tions by year, decade or place. It will lead you to exhi­bi­tions, for exam­ple, about the Great Depres­sion and Roo­sevelt’s New DealBoston’s sto­ried sports tem­ples, and Pro­hi­bi­tion in the US. Around this core, the DPLA will grow until it tru­ly serves as the dig­i­tal pub­lic library of Amer­i­ca.

You can read more about Robert Darn­ton’s vision for the Dig­i­tal Pub­lic Library of Amer­i­ca in the pages of The New York Review of Books.

via Har­vard Press

Kate Rix writes about dig­i­tal media and edu­ca­tion. Vis­it her web­site, .

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Cor­nell Launch­es Archive of 150,000 Bird Calls and Ani­mal Sounds, with Record­ings Going Back to 1929

The Alan Lomax Sound Archive Now Online: Fea­tures 17,000 Record­ings

Albert Ein­stein Archive Now Online, Bring­ing 80,000+ Doc­u­ments to the Web

Roy­al Soci­ety Opens Online Archive; Puts 60,000 Papers Online

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