Smithsonian Institution Announces Partnership with Digital Public Library of America

By Kenny Whitebloom, March 21, 2013.

The Smithsonian Institution will join with the Digital Public Library of America to provide links to a wealth of the Institution’s cultural and scientific content. The DPLA pilot project, which combines and centralizes links to the collections of participating cultural institutions, launches April 18 in Boston.

The Smithsonian will serve as a digital content hub within the DPLA network, which provides links to the Smithsonian’s digital collection of books, journals, museum objects, manuscripts and videos. Through the DPLA, the Smithsonian Institution will collaborate with renowned libraries, universities, archives and museums to reach a wide national audience.

“Our contribution to the Digital Public Library of America supports one of the Smithsonian’s major strategic goals, which is to broaden access to the Smithsonian’s vast museum collections,” said Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian.

“The DPLA will allow people who have rarely, if ever, visited the Smithsonian to find and learn from our archival and library collections in the context of America’s scientific and cultural heritage,” said Smithsonian Libraries Director Nancy E. Gwinn, who has represented the Smithsonian in the DPLA collaboration since its inception two years ago.

About the Digital Public Library of America

The DPLA is taking the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. This impact-oriented research effort unites leaders from all types of libraries, museums and archives with educators, industry and government to define the vision for a digital library in service of the American public. More information can be found at To find out more about the DPLA launch, April 18-19 in Boston, visit

Over the past two years, the DPLA has partnered with a wide range of organizations—including Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Boston, Chicago and San Francisco Public Libraries; Harvard University; Institute of Museum and Library Services; Internet Archive; National Archives and Records Administration; and the National Endowment for the Humanities—to develop the infrastructure for a national digital library.

About the Smithsonian Institution

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, nine research facilities and 20 libraries. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees and 6,500 volunteers. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visited the Smithsonian in 2012. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.


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