“The Digital Public Library of America will launch on April 18 after two and a half years of careful planning and preparation. The project known as DPLA is the first national effort that seeks to aggregate existing records in state and regional digital libraries so that they are searchable from a single portal. Up until now, the documents that tell the story of our nation’s history and cultural heritage have largely been siloed in state and local libraries, museums, and archives. Some institutions have the ability to digitize those valuable materials and put them online, but strained budgets mean that most do not. The project’s funding will also allow it to work with local communities to digitize their cultural-heritage—preserving them for the future and bringing them online as part of our first national digital library.”
“Last week, the beta version of Germany’s new national digital library, the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB) launched. Unlike many of the other new digital platforms I’ve blogged about recently, which provide a single body of content (the collection of a specific museum, Shakespeare’s ouvre, etc.) the DDB functions as a central content hub for a truly decentralized corpus of resources. While there are a few clear centers from which the DDB’s resources originate (Berlin, Dresden, Stuttgart…), a look at the DDB’s map of contributing institutions shows a combination of libraries, museums, and archives distributed fairly evenly throughout Germany.”
“As the Digital Public Library of America approaches its April 2013 launch, copyright laws still hinder the library’s ability to make a wide array of written materials accessible to the public. Two years into its initial efforts—the DPLA was first envisioned in October 2010, soon after Harvard withdrew its collections from the Google Books digitization project due to legal concerns—primary founding member and Harvard University librarian Robert C. Darnton ’60 boasts that the DPLA has the potential to become the “mother of all libraries.” But as the project moves forward, the problem of digitizing copyrighted material, essential for public collections, remains unsolved.
“Minnesota is joining a pilot project to combine and centralize the country’s digital library collections. The Minnesota Digital Library, a collaboration of the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society and other institutions, will be an early contributor to the Digital Public Library of America, or DPLA. The Minnesota Digital Library will receive $350,000 in grant money to take part in the project.”
“The Harvard Library plans to share several collections with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)—becoming the first DPLA content hub. The Harvard Library contains a wealth of special collections, and is dedicated to providing open access to them, where possible, through digitization and online dissemination. Through its collaboration with the DPLA, Harvard will contribute to global access to knowledge by linking to select digitized special collections. Robert Darnton, Harvard University Librarian and DPLA Steering Committee member, noted, “By making their special collections available to the public through the DPLA, research libraries can contribute mightily to the democratization of access to knowledge. Harvard’s collections, built up since 1638, form the largest university library in the country. By supporting the DPLA, we will make the choicest items in them accessible to everyone in America—and eventually, we hope, to everyone in the world.”
via Harvard Library
“The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced today a $250,000 grant to support the development of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The National Leadership Grant for Libraries in the Advancing Digital Resources category will help fund the launch of the DPLA’s Digital Hubs Pilot Program, a project that will take the first steps to bring together existing U.S. digital library infrastructure into a sustainable national digital library system”
“The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Secretariat is pleased to announce the appointment of Emily B. Gore as DPLA Director for Content, beginning September 1, 2012. As Director for Content, Gore will be responsible for the oversight of the DPLA’s hub infrastructure, including implementation of state and regional digital service hubs as part of the Digital Hubs Pilot Program supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as for the oversight of content provider relationships with digital library partners throughout the United States.”