FAQ

What’s a Service Hub?
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brings together metadata from digital collections around the country into a single, searchable website, dp.la. It also makes that metadata openly available to developers, enabling reuse for all kinds of purposes, from visualization to data mining.

DPLA’s distributed network of Service Hubs is designed to ensure that cultural heritage institutions of all sizes have an on-ramp to participation in DPLA. Each Service Hub represents a community of institutions in its state or region and provides its partners’ aggregated metadata to DPLA through a single source. State and regional Service Hubs collect metadata describing content related to state and local history as well as national and international topics. Service Hubs also offer a range of services to their partners, such as professional development, consulting and content hosting, in order to help build a local community of practice.

The Recollection Wisconsin statewide collaborative is the DPLA Service Hub for the state of Wisconsin. For more information about Recollection Wisconsin, its partners and funding sources, see recollectionwisconsin.org/about.

How can my library/museum/organization contribute materials to DPLA?
We’re glad you’re interested! Contact Service Hub manager Emily Pfotenhauer at emily at wils.org or 608-616-9756 to discuss how best to add your materials to Recollection Wisconsin and DPLA.

Why should my organization add content to DPLA?
The easier it is to find your organization’s curated collections online, the more your organization and its community benefit:

  • DPLA drives traffic to your collections.
  • DPLA puts your community and its history on the map.
  • DPLA adds Wisconsin to the rich tapestry of American history.

How is DPLA different from a search engine like Google?
Everything in DPLA has been carefully curated by American archives, galleries, libraries, museums, and private collectors. Finding primary sources such as firsthand accounts and images is far easier in DPLA than in Google. DPLA also improves on contributed collection and item information, for example by placing items on a map and a timeline.

How can I help someone use DPLA in an event at my library/museum/organization?
Feel free to contact one of Wisconsin’s volunteer DPLA Community Reps for event planning suggestions and assistance:

Gail Murray
gail.murray@dpi.wi.gov
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Resources for Libraries and Lifelong learning

Dorothea Salo
salo@wisc.edu
Faculty Associate, School of Library and Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

How can I use DPLA in a K-12 classroom?
DPLA is a pathway to millions of primary source materials for students to analyze and learn from. Its carefully curated Primary Source Sets are a wonderful place to start.

How can I help a student use DPLA for National History Day?

Most students will need help formulating and refining DPLA searches. Pointing them to relevant Primary Source Sets may help. See also DPLA’s collection of National History Day outreach materials.