Tutorials & Introductory Videos

This space contains tutorials and introductory videos, produced either by DPLA or its partners, which help users better understand DPLA, its mission, and its impact. If you’ve created a DPLA tutorial or video of your own that you think others might find useful, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at

How to Search DPLA

Created by Rebekah Cummings of Mountain West Digital Library (MWDL). This 12-minute video tutorial will show you how to search DPLA by basic search, timeline, map, exhibition, and app library, and it includes a short introduction on what resources are available in DPLA. For more information about MWDL, visit their site.


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Creating and Using Your DPLA Account

Created by graduate students at the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies This two-part tutorial shows you how to sign up for an account on the Digital Public Library of America’s website. It also covers how to create a search and save the results to the account.

DPLA Screencast Tour

Created by Linda W. Braun,  library consultant and educator. This short screencast tutorial offers an overview of DPLA’s functionality, including search, map, timeline, exhibitions, and more.

DPLA “Guide on the Side”

Created by Jessica Chung and Pam Schwartz, San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. This interactive tutorial will show you how the DPLA website can assist you in your research and suggest ways  DPLA’s resources can be used. Schwartz and Chung describe it as “intended to assist undergraduate students in an introductory history class who are working on an assignment that requires them to analyze a primary source. “Using this interactive guide window, users will learn how to (1) browse for items in the DPLA using its Map and Timeline features; (2) find primary source materials; (d) examine item information found in the DPLA; and (4) identify other resources to check for your research.

Click image to view tutorial:

Click image to view tutorial

Free Source for Genealogy: Digital Public Library of America

Created by Amy Johnson Crow (source). What’s better than a website that gives access to more than 13 million digitized items? A website that does it for free. That’s just what the Digital Public Library of America does. DPLA is constantly growing and fast becoming a “must visit” website for free genealogy resources.

DPLA: A brief introduction to the DPLA, its utility, and its potential

Created by Community Rep Micah Vandegrift. This research guide, created for the Florida State University Libraries, presents a comprehensive introduction to DPLA, its utility, and its potential for future impact.

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Click to view tutorial

DPLA API Tutorial

Created by Community Rep Danielle Plumer. This tutorial on how to use DPLA’s API was originally developed for use with the Hacking DPLA at TCDL event held Sunday, April 27, 2014, at the University of Texas at Austin’s Perry-Castañeda Library. Anyone is welcome to reuse, modify, or adapt this tutorial for educational purposes. For other uses, please contact Danielle Cunniff Plumer,

Screenshot of DPLA API tutorial. To view tutorial, visit:

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An Introduction to DPLA

Created by DPLA. The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. Since launching in April 2013, it has aggregated millions of items from thousands of institutions. This video was originally aired at the first annual DPLAfest, which took place on October 24-25, 2013 in Boston, MA.

American History at Your Fingertips

Created by the Minnesota Digital Library, a DPLA Service HubAmerican history at your fingertips: How Minnesota contributes to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The DPLA is a groundbreaking project that, for the first time, will make many of our nation’s significant digital collections searchable and accessible to the public from a single site. It will aggregate millions of digital artifacts from local archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions across America and deliver them to students, teachers, scholars, and the public via a powerful search interface.

Mountain West Digital Library Video 2014

Created by the Mountain West Digital Library, a DPLA Service Hub.