On August 28, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) announced that Wisconsin is one of the newest additions to its growing roster of partners. DPLA brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives and museums and makes them freely available to the world. Since launching in April 2013, DPLA has aggregated over 11 million items from hundreds of institutions across the United States. These items come from a national network of Content Hubs, large digital collections from institutions such as the Smithsonian, Harvard University and the National Archives, and Service Hubs, state or regional collaboratives that bring together digital collections from multiple partners.
The DPLA Service Hub in Wisconsin will build on the Recollection Wisconsin statewide digital initiative, a collaboration of the Milwaukee Public Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WiLS, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Historical Society. As a Service Hub, Recollection Wisconsin will serve as the “on-ramp” for Wisconsin libraries and cultural heritage organizations to participate in DPLA, ensuring that local collections can be discovered as part of this innovative national program.
Wisconsin’s first contribution to DPLA is slated to go live in early 2016. It will consist of nearly 400,000 records representing photographs, books, maps, artifacts and other historical resources from more than 200 libraries, archives and museums. Many of these materials document the histories of communities across the state, including thousands of resources digitized by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center in partnership with dozens of public libraries. Other materials to be made available through DPLA in early 2016 encompass major research collections held by Wisconsin institutions, such as the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Freedom Summer Project and the American Geographical Society Library collections at UW-Milwaukee.
“Partnering with DPLA will not only provide significant exposure for our digital collections, but will enable transformative uses of our cultural heritage materials,” said Ann Hanlon, Head of Digital Collections and Initiatives at UW-Milwaukee and Chair of the Recollection Wisconsin Governing Board. “We are grateful for the leadership and coordination that WiLS has provided to enable Wisconsin to partner in this ambitious and groundbreaking effort.”
To read more about the Service Hub planning process, governance and implementation timeline, visit http://recollectionwisconsin.org/dpla.