Educational Uses

The Digital Public Library of America received two grants from the Whiting Foundation to explore educational possibilities for its growing collection.

The first grant, “Investigating Education Uses,” allowed DPLA to convene in-person meetings for educators from a wide variety of institutions, including K-12 schools, community colleges, small liberal arts colleges, and research universities, in the fall of 2014 in Boston. The purpose of these meetings was to define what DPLA and other large­-scale digital collections can do to better adapt their resources to address educational needs at the secondary and college level. In addition, DPLA staff spoke virtually with other instructors and providers of online content as part of this learning process. From these conversations, Franky Abbott and Dan Cohen published a research paper that outlines a DPLA educational strategy. This report will hopefully prove useful to other online collections looking to make their materials more useful in the classroom. From this research, DPLA is moving forward with a comprehensive educational plan.

The second grant, “Putting Digital Collections to Work in Education Through Community Curation,” enables DPLA to put its educational planning into practice.  Through this project, DPLA staff and an Education Advisory Committee of teachers in grades 6-14 will create and review primary source sets curated using content accessible through DPLA. Students will be the primary audience for these sets although they will also include resources for teacher guidance. The Education Advisory Committee will also consult on tools for user-generated sets.  The results of this process, sets and tools for set creation, will be made available on DPLA’s website during the 2015-2016 school year, as DPLA launches an outreach campaign to recruit new sets and education users.

For more information about these projects, please contact

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Logo for the Whiting FoundationAbout the Whiting Foundation
The Whiting Foundation ( has supported scholars and writers for more than forty years. This grant is part of the Foundation’s efforts to infuse the humanities into American public culture.