While the United States was in the midst of the Civil War, the country was also making one of its greatest breakthroughs in transportation—the Transcontinental Railroad. From the railroad’s war-weary beginnings, to the last Golden Spike at Promontory Summit in Utah on May 10, 1869, the railroad’s development forever changed American travel and communication. It also had long-reaching and irrevocable impacts on the lives of Native Americans and Chinese immigrant laborers, who bore the brunt of the treacherous tunneling and track-laying across the country. Our newest exhibition “Building the Transcontinental Railroad” explores the railroad’s construction and its impact on American culture and westward expansion.
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Our newest exhibition, “Torn in Two: Mapping the American Civil War,” tells the story of the American Civil War both nationally and locally in Boston, Massachusetts, through maps, documents, letters, and other primary sources.
Happy National Poetry Month! Here’s a taste of just some of the poetry goodness that lives within the confines of the Digital Public Library of America. From the postcard featuring an excerpt from a poem by Alex Caldero proclaiming ‘Poetry is wanted here!’, to a sampling a of dust jackets, to a lunch poem from second graders, poetry is alive and well at DPLA.
As World War I raged in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa in the spring of 1918 to early 1919, a fierce enemy landed on American shores in the form of the influenza virus. The outbreak would decimate entire regiments and towns, kill civilians and soldiers alike by the millions, and rapidly turn into a global pandemic. No aspect of life remained untouched for Americans at home or on the front. Our newest exhibition, “America during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,” explores the pandemic’s impact on American life and the legacy that would forever alter our understanding of epidemiology.
Unless you haven’t been out of your house for the past month, you know that it’s Girl Scout cookie season. The girls out tugging boxes of cookies around the neighborhood are learning all sorts of skills they’ll use later in life as political leaders, entertainers, astronauts, and athletes. Literally. For proof, check out this list of 25 of the most famous Girl Scouts while enjoying the last of your Thin Mints and Caramel Delights…until next year.
This week, DPLA is participating in #MuseumWeek, an online conversation about and celebration of museums across the globe. It is a great way to share our voice with the wider museum and cultural heritage community, but also an opportunity to highlight DPLA’s involvement with museum collections.
March is Women’s History Month and the sky’s the limit with our new exhibition, “Women With Wings: American Aviatrixes.” The exhibition spotlights the groundbreaking and courageous women who took to the skies as barnstormers and record breakers in the 1910s and 1920s, daredeviled their way across the US in the 1930s, and supported the American military in WWII in the 1940s, inspiring generations of women pilots and astronauts along the way.
Interested in using DPLA to do family research, but aren’t sure where to start? Consider the family Bible. There are two large family Bible collections in DPLA—over 2,100 (transcribed) from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, and another 90 from the South Carolina Digital Library. They’re filled with rich information about family connections and provide insight into how people of the American South lived and died during the—mainly—18th and 19th centuries.
This is the second post in our new series, Unexpected, which covers thematic discoveries in our collection. Bringing together over 15,000 photographs of football, from its origins after the Civil War to Super Bowl era, and from over a thousand collections around the United States, presents an opportunity to see in one place how this uniquely American sport has been played—and imagined. Photography itself evolved in concert with the sport, from lantern slides of players to aerial shots of stadiums.
Today we’re starting a new series on our blog, called Unexpected. With over eight million items in our collection (and growing!), there are countless unusual artifacts, and since we now bring together 1,400 different libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage sites in one place, we can begin to associate these surprising sources into rich categories and themes. Unexpected will showcase some of the most, well, unexpected, items and topics—just the tip of the DPLA iceberg. We hope the series inspires you to explore our collection further, to tell others about DPLA, and to use our materials for education, research, and just plain fun.
This post is part of a series from Book Patrol, a blog run by DPLA Community Rep Michael Lieberman that highlights interesting news, images, and related content from all corners of the book universe. To learn more about Book Patrol, visit http://bookpatrol.net/
This week was a time for people to give thanks—this includes showing some gratitude for some awe-inspiring beards and mustaches. In a continuation of our “Movember” series, we’re throwing it back to the colonial era for some facial hair inspiration.
Happy Thanksgiving, DPLA friends! No matter how you choose to celebrate, we hope it’s a good one. In celebration, a selection of the best Thanksgiving day photos from the DPLA, showing how American families have celebrated for more than 100 years.
With Thanksgiving just a day away, the heat’s turned up for the perfect kitchen creation. Whether you’re the one cooking the turkey, or are just in charge of expertly arranging the table napkins, creating the perfect Thanksgiving meal is a big responsibility. Take some cues from these Thanksgiving dinner menus from hotels and restaurants across the country, from The New York Public Library.
This is the first in a new series of posts from Book Patrol, a blog run by DPLA Community Rep Michael Lieberman that highlights interesting news, images, and related content from all corners of the book universe. Over the coming weeks and months, Michael will scour the DPLA for interesting archival finds and publish them here and on our Tumblr. To learn more about Book Patrol, visit http://bookpatrol.net/
In a continuation of our weekly facial hair inspiration (check out last week’s list of Civil War mustached men), we recognize that the “Movember” challenge isn’t easy. Growing an impressive beard or mustache, even for a good cause, can be a struggle. Let us help!
Digitization efforts in the US have, to date, been overwhelmingly dominated by academic libraries, but public libraries are increasingly finding a niche by looking to their local collections as sources for original content. The Hennepin County Library has partnered with the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL)—and now the Digital Public Library of America—to bring thousands of items to the digital realm from its extensive holdings in the James K. Hosmer Special Collections Department. These items include maps, atlases, programs, annual reports, photographs, diaries, advertisements, and trade catalogs.
Happy Movember, DPLA friends! The month of November brings about a great many things—Thanksgiving, brisk breezes, falling leaves—including ditching the razor for a good cause. Movember encourages participants to grow out mustaches and beards to raise awareness for men’s health issues. In celebration, we’re providing some historic grooming inspiration. Check back once a week for a selection of some of the best beards and mustaches from the DPLA collection, and up your “Movember” game!
Building the newest DPLA student exhibition, “From Colonialism to Tourism: Maps in American Culture”
University of Washington MLIS graduate Greg Bem writes about his experience developing a new exhibit for DPLA—”From Colonialism to Tourism: Maps in American Culture”—as part of the Digital Curation Program. The new exhibit is now available on dp.la/exhibitions.
This week, 57 years ago, was a tumultuous one for nine African American students at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Now better known as the Little Rock Nine, these high school students were part of a several year battle to integrate Little Rock School District after the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling.