New IMLS Funding to Support the Digital Public Library of America Announced

By DPLA, September 30, 2014.

Washington, DC & BOSTON — The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced today a $999,485 grant to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) for a major expansion of its infrastructure. The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It 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. DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used.

This IMLS award builds on a 2012 IMLS grant to DPLA. With new funding DPLA will pursue a major expansion of its service hubs network. The goal is to at least double the number of DPLA service hubs and to use IMLS support to encourage other funders to make DPLA service hubs available to all institutions in every state in the union.

DPLA service hubs are state, regional, or other collaborations that host, aggregate, or otherwise bring together digital objects from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. State and regional hubs agree to collect content that describes their local history, but also content about the US broadly and, when available, international topics. Each service hub offers its partners services that range from professional development, digitization, metadata creation or enhancement, to hosting or metadata aggregation. They may also provide community outreach programs to increase users’ awareness of digital content of local relevance.

“We are proud of IMLS’s support for this important step in the expansion of the Digital Public Library of America,” said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth. “IMLS is committed to helping make the rich holdings of America’s libraries, archives, and museums more accessible to all.”

“The Digital Public Library of America and its rapidly growing community are enormously grateful to IMLS for this support, which will allow us to capitalize on what we have learned in our first year to make substantial progress on a national digital platform in the years to come,” said Dan Cohen, DPLA’s Executive Director.

Since launching in April 2013, DPLA has aggregated nearly 8 million items from well over a thousand institutions. DPLA plans to make its services available to all collections-based institutions in every state in the U.S., and to make collections freely available to students, teachers, researchers, and the general public.

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