The New York Public Library to Help Launch the Digital Public Library of America

By Kenny Whitebloom, April 4, 2013.

April 4, 2013

New York, NY / Cambridge, MA — The New York Public Library (NYPL) is partnering with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to provide additional online access to thousands of historic materials archived at the Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. As part of this cooperative partnership, NYPL will contribute images and data from two of its significant collections chronicling American history: The Thomas Addis Emmet Collection documenting the founding and early years of the United States and The Lawrence H. Slaughter collection of English maps, charts, atlases, globes and books relating to Colonial North America.

“As one of the leading providers of free educational resources to all, The New York Public Library is honored to participate in a project that will engage users across the country, and make our collections even more accessible to the masses,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “The Digital Public Library of America will open up a new world of information to students of all ages and interests, and allow NYPL to share its deep background of materials in American history and culture.”

The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

The DPLA is a large-scale, collaborative project working towards the creation of a unique and consolidated digital library platform, ensuring America’s cultural and scientific record is free and publicly accessible online through a single access point, available anytime and anywhere. This impact-oriented research effort unites leaders from libraries, museums and archives with members of education, industry and government to help define the vision of a vast digital library that serves the American public.

“The New York Public Library’s incredible holdings and public spirit are a perfect match for the Digital Public Library of America’s mission,” remarked Dan Cohen, DPLA Executive Director. “We are so fortunate to be able to partner with NYPL in this way, and are grateful for their unique contribution.”

The Emmet Collection – in NYPL’s Manuscripts and Archives Division – holds approximately 11,000 manuscripts including letters and documents by nearly every patriot and statesman who distinguished himself during American Revolutionary history; these documents provide insight into important historic milestones and include a copy of the Declaration of Independence in Jefferson’s hand, an engrossed copy of the Bill of Rights, and manuscript minutes of the Annapolis Convention.

The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division holds The Lawrence H. Slaughter collection, which focuses on English cartography of Colonial North America. More than 1,000 digitized images will be available through DPLA. Included in the Slaughter Collection are Mark Tiddeman’s Draught of New York Harbor, 1749?; the “Ratzen” plan of the City, first edition; the Montresor plan of New York; John Thornton’s chart of Long Island, showing New York City, 1689.

About The Digital Public Library of America

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. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used. More information is online at To find out more about the DPLA launch, April 18-19 in Boston, visit

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 90 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at

Image courtesy of mirsasha on Flickr; used under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

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