Become a Partner
The DPLA would not exist without the collaboration of its many partners, organizations that both contribute their content and metadata to the DPLA and help other libraries, museums, archives, and cultural heritage institutions participate in the DPLA network.
Digital Hubs Pilot Project
In September 2012, the DPLA began the first effort to establish a national network out of the over 40 state or regional digital collaboratives, numerous large content repositories, and other promising digital initiatives currently in operation throughout the US. Through this Digital Hubs Pilot Project, we are working with our partners to bring together myriad digitized content from across the country into a single access point for end users. The approach for the pilot is to work with six state or regional organizations (Service Hubs) and a similar number of large content providers (Content Hubs) to aggregate content on a pilot basis; we plan to expand the project to include additional partners in the near future.
The goal of the Hubs Project is to strengthen and connect existing state and/or regional infrastructure to create a system of Service and Content Hubs from which aggregated data from libraries, museums, historical societies and archives are harvested.
“Since Minnesota Reflections has been in DPLA, we are up 55% in visits
and 62% in unique visitors over last year.”
Each Service Hub offers a full menu of standardized digital services to local institutions, including digitization, metadata consultation, data aggregation and storage services, as well as locally hosted community outreach programs bringing users in contact with digital content of local relevance. The two-year Hubs Pilot aims to help existing state or regional programs offer these services to all institutions in their state or region. Service Hubs will serve as an on-ramp for every cultural heritage institution in a pilot state or region to participate in the DPLA network. If this model proves successful, the DPLA would like to implement it in all US states or regions.
In addition to Service Hubs, the DPLA also works with Content Hubs: existing large digital libraries that have a one-to-one relationship with the DPLA. Content Hubs as a general rule have more than 250,000 unique metadata records to contribute to the DPLA, and they commit to maintaining and editing those records as needed.
For a full list of our current partners, please see our Partners page.
The DPLA Metadata Application Profile (MAP) v3 allows the DPLA to accommodate existing and emerging data models for library, archive, and museum resources. Metadata from the Hubs is harvested using OAI-PMH, along with other techniques, mapped to the DPLA schema, and made available through the DPLA portal and as a dataset via the API. In addition to the DPLA portal, a number of tools to help users access and view the metadata content are being developed by independent developers using the API. As part of the initial launch, the DPLA and its Service Hub partners have created a number of virtual exhibitions using the Omeka platform that feature content from the Hubs’ digital collections.
Data Exchange Agreement and Data Use Best Practices
The DPLA Data Exchange Agreement describes how hubs provide data to the DPLA, and how the DPLA uses this data. Prospective Hubs can obtain a copy of the Data Exchange Agreement by contacting the DPLA Content Staff at email@example.com.
The Data Use Best Practices (PDF) suggest guidelines for others who are interested in using the aggregated data provided by the DPLA in the spirit of building a community of practice that recognizes contributions.
How to become a DPLA Service Hub
Service Hubs aggregate metadata that resolves to digital objects (online texts, photographs, manuscript material, art work, etc.) from local libraries and other cultural heritage institutions. These DPLA partners are committed to working with the DPLA on behalf of a geographic region or community. To date, all service hubs represent states or regions of the United States, but we envision working with non-geographic based service hubs as well.
Under the Digital Hubs Pilot, Service Hubs also provide a full menu of standardized digital services to local institutions, including digitization, metadata consultation, metadata aggregation and storage services, as well as locally hosted community outreach programs that bring users in contact with digital content of local relevance.
A Service Hub can participate in a number ways. No matter the partnership model, Service Hubs commit to:
- representing their community (state, region, etc.) as the metadata aggregation point for the DPLA, and having the community buy-in to do so;
- actively addressing issues of metadata quality;
- providing outreach to their metadata providers, including working in partnership with the DPLA to educate partner institutions on open data, data quality, data consistency, data standards, rights, and other relevant subjects;
- maintaining technology or technologies (such as OAI-PMH, Resource Sync, etc.) that allow for metadata to be shared with the DPLA on a regular, consistent basis; and
- actively engaging with the broader community of data creators, providers, and users.
If your organization is interested in becoming a Service Hub, and is willing to make the commitments above, please take the following steps:
- Determine if there is an existing Service Hub in your state (see our list of current partners). If so, please contact that Hub to discuss becoming a partner.
- If your state or region does not have a service hub, please determine if there is an existing digital collaborative (check this list of collaborative digitization programs in the United States as a starting place).
- If there is an existing collaborative in your state, please contact the collaborative leader(s) to discuss how you might partner with them to build off of the existing collaboration.
- Once you’ve taken these steps, please contact the DPLA Content Staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your organization’s potential role as a Service Hub and your ability to make the commitments outlined above.
How to become a DPLA Content Hub
Content Hubs are large digital libraries, museums, archives, or repositories that maintain a one-to-one relationship with the DPLA. Content Hubs, as a general rule, provide more than 250,000 unique metadata records that resolve to digital objects (online texts, photographs, manuscript material, art work, etc.) to the DPLA, and commit to maintaining and editing those records as needed.
Content Hubs are required to:
- Hold at least 250,000 unique metadata records that resolve to digital objects and comply with a national standard (DC, QDC, MODS).
- Be willing to share those records and associated content previews (thumbnails, clips, etc.) with DPLA in accordance with the Data Exchange Agreement, which describes how hubs provide data to the DPLA, and how the DPLA uses this data.
- Work with DPLA staff to edit records as needed for global metadata quality purposes.
If your organization is interested in becoming a Content Hub, and you meet the criteria above, please contact the DPLA Content Staff (email@example.com) to discuss ingest procedures and schedules.
If your organization is interested in contributing content to the DPLA, but you do not meet the requirements above, please check to see if there is a Service Hub in your state or region. If there is not a Service Hub, please see above to determine Service Hub requirements and how best to form a Hub in your state, region, or community.