Northwest Digital Heritage joins DPLA

By DPLA, May 25, 2021.
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DPLA is pleased to welcome Northwest Digital Heritage as DPLA’s newest service hub. Northwest Digital Heritage is a collaboration between the Washington State Library, State Library of Oregon, and Oregon Heritage Commission that serves libraries and cultural heritage institutions across the Pacific Northwest region. More than 70 institutions are currently contributing to DPLA through Northwest Digital Heritage including Multnomah County Library; Oregon Historical Society; Densho (Seattle, WA); Seattle Public Library, Spokane Public Library; Yakima Valley Libraries; State Library of Oregon; and the Washington State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program.

“We are thrilled to be adding Northwest Digital Heritage to the DPLA network of 42 hubs and more than 4,000 contributing institutions across the country. These collections, in particular those that document the Asian American, Indigenous, and African American experience in the Pacific Northwest, represent an important piece of our American story and bolster our efforts to enable open access to artifacts that document the full breadth of our nation’s history,” said Shanée Yvette Murrain, DPLA’s director of community engagement. 

Northwest Digital Heritage is currently contributing more than more than 80,000 items to DPLA. Highlights of the hub’s collection include: 

Densho Digital Repository (Seattle, WA)

The Densho Digital Repository includes a wealth of collections documenting the Japanese-American experience, with a focus on World War II-era incarceration. It also includes collections from Densho’s partner institution in Oregon, the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, and the Frank C. Hirahara Collection, which documents Portland’s Japanese community from 1948-1954.

Akio Yanagihara poses on the running board of a car. Written in the corner of the photograph is “Aug. 1937”
Two children walking between barracks, Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.

Ida Nason Collection and Kittitas Valley Crossroads Collection (Washington Rural Heritage repository, Ellensburg Public Library)

These collections document the culture of tribal peoples of Central Washington State with a focus on the Kittitas Band of Indians, the Yakama Nation, and the use of Central Washington as a meeting point for native peoples from throughout the Columbia River Basin and Inland Northwest.

A Yakama Indian girl parades around the Ellensburg Rodeo arena on a large horse circa 1930s.
Photographed at her farm in the Naneum Creek area north of Ellensburg, Ida Nason Aronica dedicated her life to preserving the culture of the Kittitas Band of Plateau Indians. 

Our Story Collection (Multnomah County Library)

A celebration of African American life in Oregon, the Our Story Collection documents civic organizations, social clubs, Black churches, and family life as integral to building the Black community. Of note are records detailing the city of Vanport, Oregon, which saw an influx of African American industrial workers during World War II. Issues of the newsletter the Vanport Voice, provide a look into community life during the 1940s. Another highlight is “Where the Heart Is,” a film describing the diverse experiences of Black Portlanders.

Beatrice Morrow Cannady, civil rights activist, and editor of The Advocate, Oregon’s largest African American newspaper, with students in 1973. Courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Costella McMullough and others participating in Portland’s Black United Front School Board Protest on April 12, 1982. Courtesy of the City of Portland Archives.

You can explore all of Northwest Digital Heritage’s contributions to DPLA here.

If you represent an organization interested in joining Northwest Digital Heritage, please contact Evan Robb, Hub Coordinator.

Northwest Digital Heritage is made possible with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPLA’s cultural heritage program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.