Our plans for the next 90 days

By John Bracken, April 3, 2020.

Dear Friends of DPLA,

Over the last few weeks, the DPLA team has been, like all of you, striving to adapt to our new reality while also checking in on family, friends and colleagues. We’ve been grateful to hear from many of you not only about the new challenges you’re facing, but about how our community is coming together in new ways to meet this moment and forge a way forward.

If this crisis has shown us nothing else, it is that access to knowledge–the core mission of DPLA–has never been more important. In continued service of that mission, we wanted to share with you our areas of focus over the next 90 days. 

  • Curation: We are working to identify and create new ways for teachers, researchers, librarians and the general public to customize their own collections from the nearly 37 million images, text, sounds and videos shared by our 4,000+ partners at dp.la. Our goal is to make it easier for anyone to access and use these artifacts to create their own educational, storytelling and genealogical projects. And later this spring, we will launch our Black Women’s Suffrage project, bringing together thousands of artifacts related to the role of Black women in the suffrage movement and Black women’s long history of activism, along with contextual resources, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment this summer.  
  • Ebooks: We are working to double the number of free ebooks available for download from DPLA to 12,000, and we are expanding our Curation Corps of librarians who serve as advisors on our free collection. If you’re interested in joining us,  learn more here. We will also be continuing our work building timely, COVID-related ebook collections out of public domain materials, as we did previously with the Mueller Report and Impeachment Papers books. And we are expanding the titles and types of flexible licenses we offer libraries through our DPLA Exchange–details to come.  
  • Connections: We will continue to convene our partners and serve as a connection point for our community. The first of these events will be our spring open board meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 1:30 pm ET. We’ll be using this gathering to reflect collectively on how we as individuals and as institutions are adapting to these new circumstances we all find ourselves in–please RSVP here. We are planning more virtual events and webinars, including an introductory webinar about our work with Wikimedia later this month. As always, you can keep an eye on our planned events at https://pro.dp.la/events, and please make sure you are signed up to receive our emails

The world is changing quickly for all of us. In the coming weeks and months, we will be seeking to better understand this new world, our role in it and how we, working together, can best ensure the broadest possible access to knowledge in our digital age. I hope you’ll be part of that exploration with us. 

We will continue to update you on our work, and to provide opportunities to come together, if only virtually, over the next 90 days. As always, please let me know if you have any questions. 

Thank you, and stay well,