The content on this wiki is being preserved for historical purposes, but is not being maintained and is probably no longer accurate.

For current information about DPLA, see the DPLA main site.

Technical Aspects

From Digital Library of America Project
Jump to: navigation, search
DPLA Wiki Navigation
About the DPLA
DPLA Website
Main PageBerkman Center
Board of Directors
Steering Committee
Dev portal
Ongoing Work
Audience and ParticipationContent and Scope
Financial/Business ModelsGovernance
Legal IssuesTechnical Aspects
Additional Activities
Beta SprintWorkshopsEvents
Media and Blog Mentions
Possible Models
List of Models
Concept Note
Get Involved
Community PortalSign on
Join the listservListserv archives
Weekly listserv recapsSuggested Resources

This workstream will explore the desired architecture for the DPLA and will make recommendations regarding technology to be used for its development and to build or facilitate building the discovery environment. This track will also examine the state of the art for digitizing books, video, audio, and other types of documents and determining how much it might cost to greatly increase the scope of current digitization efforts.

Meetings and notes


Big issues: The project may be helpful at the level of standards, interfaces, APIs, and so forth for already and to-be digitized content for public usage. It also may be helpful insofar as we can help to nudge toward better access via current digital means of accessing books, including eBooks.

Beta Sprints provide a sense of how people might use or interact with the DPLA.


Chris Freeland, Center for Biodiversity Informatics/Missouri Botanical Garden; Biodiversity Heritage Library

Martin Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Institution Libraries


Workstream conveners are responsible for the recruitment of a broad range of workstream members and the identification of expert participants for DPLA activities over the next two years.

John Blyberg, Darien Library

Aaron Chaletzky, Library of Congress

Tim Dilauro, Johns Hopkins University

Lee Dirks, Microsoft Research Connections

Michael Edmonds, Wisconsin Historical Society

Emily Gore, Florida State University

Jorge Martinez, Knight Foundation

Robert McDonald, Indiana University

Brad McLean, DuraSpace

Carole Palmer, Center for Informatics Research in Science & Scholarship; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Robert Stein, Indianapolis Museum of Art

David Weinberger, Harvard Library Innovation Lab

Kristina Woolsey, Exploratorium

Pam Wright, National Archives and Records Administration

Questions for Discussion

Please feel free to add new questions to this list, either by creating an account or by emailing with your additions.

Special thanks to Carl Malamud for developing an initial list of discussion questions.

  • Are we focusing only on digitization technologies or also on the requirements for long-term preservation of digital assets (e.g. migration, emulation and associated costs, some national libraries addressed both in their initial planning and cost projections)?
  • What does digitization mean for printed text material? Pictures of pages, sufficient transcription for search, accurate transcription, transcribed text with semantic annotations? How to distinguish between between them?
  • Is the DPLA effort about digitization only, or is it also feasible to discuss the collection, preservation, and dissemination of born-digital content?
  • What standards will be necessary for efficient creation of, sharing of, interoperability of, and preservation of the content within DPLA?
  • What elements might be missing in the standards landscape that would facilitate the DPLA?
  • The need and scope for a work identifier which could limit the duplication that might occur from a distributed digitization effort? Is the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) appropriate for this?
  • What metadata standards will the Library adopt?
  • What provisions will there be for interoperability with other collections of digital material?
  • How important is the World Wide Web and its stack of technologies to the Library?
  • Will the DPLA be a host of content or will it be a federation of other content repositories?
  • Will the DPLA contact and work with the Internet Society (ISOC) and how will their experience, structures and methods be leveraged/adopted/adapted? For example, the arms of Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the process of iterating Request For Comments (RFC) leading from first idea to draft/final specifications (and/or standards) with working prototypes along the way. Have experts at ISOC already solved like technical problems DPLA is likely to encounter? For example, the evolution of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and Hypertext Transfer (or Transport) Protocol (HTTP).
  • How much attention should the DPLA pay to end user issues such as the possibility of the creation of firmware and apps for public library users and alliances and educational officers in the last-mile area? Does access, in the technical sense, count?
  • Should the DPLA establish a close relationship with the International Digital Publishing Forum, the leading organization in the area of e-book standards?
  • Might the DPLA actually do well to spin off a separate technical organization serving the needs of both academic and private digital library systems, which could be separate?

Suggested Resources

Please feel free to add resources and new categories to this list, either by creating an account or by emailing with your additions.

Membership Sign-up

All workstream members should join the DPLA Technical Aspects Workstream listserv at

Please also add your name to the list below. If you would like to edit this wiki, please create an account.

  • [Your Name], [Affiliation], [Your Email]
  • David Rothman,,
  • Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO --
  • Tito Sierra, MIT Libraries --
  • John Weise, University of Michigan Library --
  • Wilhelmina Randtke, Florida State University -- randtke (at)
  • Stephen Chapman, Harvard Law School Library --
  • Lori Jahnke, Medical Heritage Library (College of Physicians of Philadelphia) --
  • Zachary Townsend, openNYC --
  • Jason Ronallo, NCSU Libraries --
  • John Mignault, Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden --
  • Leah Prescott, Washington Research Library Consortium -- prescott [at]