DPLA and Museums: #MuseumWeek 2015

By Hillary Brady, March 24, 2015.
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This week, DPLA is participating in #MuseumWeek, an online conversation about and celebration of museums across the globe. It is a great way to share our voice with the wider museum and cultural heritage community, but also an opportunity to highlight DPLA’s involvement with museum collections.

In DPLA as a whole, museums make up the third largest type of contributing institution, behind university and public libraries. Besides the wealth of information (over 1 million items!) we have from our content Partner, the Smithsonian and all its associated museums, like the Cooper Hewitt and the Natural History Museum, there is an incredible amount of valuable content from other contributing museums. These include art museums, such as the Yale University Art Gallery, the Walters Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art. There is even content from institutions abroad, like the Museum Victoria, London’s Natural History Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum.

An image from a Natural History Museum, London, bulletin.

An image from a Natural History Museum, London, bulletin.

The museum content available through DPLA also offers unique insights into American history. From the Tubman African American Museum, for example, you can access art and civil rights related content. There is also Native American art and design material available through DPLA, via the Pueblo Grande Museum. Photographs of Japanese-Americans in World War II internment camps are part of a collection from the Topaz Museum. These are just a snapshot of the museum content that is searchable and shareable via DPLA.

It’s more than just searchable and shareable, however. In addition to being featured on DPLA’s social media channels, museum content is often reused as part of our educational outreach. Many of DPLA’s exhibitions highlight items from museums–giving their digital content new use for students at varying grade levels.

Beyond the opportunity for access to new audiences, DPLA is committed to its participation in the museum community. In addition to celebrating #MuseumWeek, our Director for Content Emily Gore recently presented at the Visual Resources Association conference, and many of this year’s new Community Reps members program work in museums. For example, rep Kirsten Terry works as a librarian at the Arab American National Museum in Michigan. Rep Al Bersch works at the Oakland Museum of California, and Janice Lea Lurie is with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (after a long career in museums!). We have a community rep from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Samantha Norling, and the Women’s Museum of California, Bonnie R. Domingos, as well as  the Corning Museum of Glass, Rebecca Hopman. We even have one representative from a historic house museum, Julie Goforth, who works at Oatlands in Virginia.

Just as museums place value on their role as public service institutions, DPLA shares that same mission of education and public access. So, help DPLA celebrate those values and the museum institutions that support them by following our social media channels this #MuseumWeek and share your favorite #DPLAmuseum with us!