Privacy Policy

The Digital Public Library of America (“DPLA”) is committed to preserving your privacy and being transparent about how DPLA uses information collected through the website (the “Website”) and any other applications, functionality or services offered by DPLA (collectively with the Website, the “Services”). This privacy policy describes how DPLA uses, collects, and shares information through the Services.

1. What types of information does DPLA collect?

1.1. Usage Data

As with most services, DPLA may automatically collect certain information when you use the Services, even when you are not logged in. DPLA collects this information when you access the Services, including when you set up an account, upload information, or browse, read, or download information from the Services. This type of information may include, but is not limited to, your IP address, URL request, browser type, and the date and time of a request. DPLA may use cookies or other automated mechanisms to collect this information and may collect this information on an aggregate or individual basis. Cookies are small text files that the Services can send to your browser for storage on your computer. They make use of the Website easier by saving your status and preferences and refreshing them every time you use the Website. For instance, to facilitate registration and login functions, DPLA may use cookies to recognize when you return to the Website so that you do not have to resubmit your logon credentials. In order to clear this logon information, for example if using a public terminal, you should log out of your account. While many browsers allow you to change your settings in order to refuse cookies or to be alerted when cookies are being sent, it is recommended that you leave cookies enabled, as disabling cookies may interfere with some functionality of the Services.

1.2. Personal Information

In order to access certain parts of the Services, DPLA may require you to provide personal information, such as your email address. DPLA uses this information to manage your account, communicate with you, and provide the Services to you. DPLA will not collect any personal information from your use of the Services unless you choose to provide it by registering for an account or otherwise posting, sending, or uploading the information to the Services.

1.3. User Content that You Post to the Services

Certain parts of the Services allow you to upload or post comments or other content (“User Content”). Likewise, the Services also allow registered users to save searches (“Saved Searches”) and to save and share lists of items found through the Services (“Saved Lists”). You may post User Content or create Saved Searches or Saved Lists at your discretion. Please note that User Content that you post or provide through the Services may be publicly available, viewable to others, and may appear in search results on third-party search engines. Likewise, if you choose to make your Saved Searches or Saved Lists public, they will be publicly available, viewable to others, and may appear in search results on third-party search engines. DPLA recommends that you do not post any personal information, such as your address, social security number, or other personal information, as that information may be publicly displayed and seen by others.

2. How does DPLA Use the Information It Collects?

DPLA uses the information that it collects to deliver and improve the Services, administer mailing lists and online communities, and other activities related to the provision of the Services. DPLA may retain all data and content collected through the Services for restorative, archival, or research purposes. Editing or deleting your User Content will alter the public availability of the User Content, but may not permanently delete the content from the Services.

3. When does DPLA disclose information to third parties?

DPLA uses third party services providers, such as web analytics providers, infrastructure providers, and other similar providers, to help deliver the Services. DPLA may share the information it collects through the Services with these service providers as necessary to provide or improve the Services. DPLA may also share certain information it collects with its research partners. In addition, although DPLA will not publicly share personal information unless you choose to make that information public, DPLA may publicly share aggregated data or statistics related to the Services that may include anonymized user information or usage statistics. Finally, DPLA may share information when responding to a request from law enforcement, or to prevent malicious use of the Services. In the event that DPLA is required by law to disclose any information related to your account, DPLA will use reasonable efforts to provide you with notice of the request by email, unless DPLA is prohibited by law or government order from doing so. DPLA will not sell information it collects or stores through the Services to any third parties for monetary compensation.

4. What if I access another website or third party service through the Services?

DPLA may link you to or provide you access to services or websites offered by third parties, such as libraries, museums, archives, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other similar services. Please note that this privacy policy does not apply to the practices of those third parties, and DPLA is not responsible for the privacy practices of those third parties. Please make sure you are comfortable with the privacy practices of these third parties before using their services.

5. Security

DPLA has taken efforts to put security measures in place to protect information and data that is collected through the Services. However, DPLA cannot guarantee or warrant that any information collected through the Services will remain confidential, and many functions of the Services are intended to make information and content publicly available. You are responsible for setting and maintaining the security of your password. DPLA may not keep a copy of your password, so please safeguard the password associated with your account and do not share your password with third parties.

6. Transfer of Information

Your information may be transferred to and maintained on servers and databases located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the privacy laws may not be as protective as your jurisdiction. Please be advised that we may transfer your information to and from any state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction, and process it in the United States or elsewhere. By using the Services, you consent to any such transfer of your information.

7. Changes to this Privacy Policy

DPLA reserves the right to modify this privacy policy at any time at its discretion. If DPLA does make changes to this privacy policy, DPLA will update this page accordingly. Please check this page periodically for any changes. Unless otherwise defined in this privacy policy, terms used in this privacy policy have the same meanings as in the Terms of Service.


If you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact DPLA.

Last modified on April 15, 2013.