Expanding Digital Access to Delaware Libraries through the DPLA Exchange

From hidden gems in local history to unique and important collections that reflect their communities, the new Delaware additions to DPLA are libraries in action

Many library and archives organizations across the country are working together to bring knowledge and resources to the general public through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Libraries and archives across Delaware have dedicated tremendous time and energy toward expanding access through DPLA to Delaware-specific collections, history, and artifacts. You have to check out the most recent additions to the DPLA in the NJ/DE Digital Collective.

The Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a nonprofit organization that caters to the needs of libraries, patrons, researchers, and historians alike. It is made of many service hubs and is a one-stop destination to search through millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions. This is a fully digital library that stores metadata from its partner organizations located throughout the country.

The DPLA has over 35 million collections from 42 service hubs that encompass over 2,000 institutional partners across the country. New service hubs are consistently added to the DPLA’s network. In collaboration with other nonprofits and cultural organizations, Delaware libraries and archives are able to make a major difference in education and learning. 

In addition to compiling materials and sharing knowledge from one source, the DPLA also does work to benefit libraries. The platform provides a library-controlled marketplace for libraries to utilize either through purchasing materials or organizing and distributing materials to their library patrons. The DPLA also works in collaboration with library leaders and practitioners to find methods of empowering their communities as trusted sources with advanced technology.

NJ/DE Digital Collective

The NJ/DE Digital Collective is a collaborative effort between libraries, museums, and cultural institutions in the states of New Jersey and Delaware. It works on locating, securing, and organizing local resources to be used by its partners as well as other interested patrons. It was founded by a number of well-known organizations and institutions in both states including the Delaware Division of Libraries (which is Delaware’s state library), the New Jersey State Library, and a group of other public libraries, universities, archives, and museums. 

Their collections are expansive and cover everything from local history to arts, the immigrant experiences, and many other topics. These collections hold precious artifacts that can be used by people all over the world and right at home in Delaware to further their understanding of a certain event, time period, or movement. 

Delaware Collections at the Forefront

The new Digital Collective is one of the newest service hubs within the DPLA network. These include valuable collections from prestigious organizations and universities across both states. Some of the highlights from the new additions include the Howard Pyle Manuscript Collection from the Delaware Art Museum and the Agnes P. Medill Boys’ and Girls’ Liberty Clubs of Delaware Scrapbook from the University of Delaware. These insightful materials give patrons a snapshot into these periods of time like the lectures and correspondence of the man whose work brought about the golden age of American illustration or the notes of the woman who organized Boys’ and Girls’ Liberty Clubs throughout Delaware schools.

DPLA and Delaware Libraries

The DPLA database has amassed a large collection of online exhibitions and primary source sets that makeup over 44 million materials to browse. These are easily viewable on the DPLA website in the form of eBooks. Those who are specifically interested in browsing the collections contributed by the NJ/DE Digital Collective can find materials filtered on the DPLA website

Delaware libraries are committed to a library-led digital future; it is evident in the work they do every day. Those libraries and archives that share information and collections through the DPLA are not only creating more traffic to their own collections but are contributing to a community that advocates for the needs of libraries and believes in establishing a platform for diverse learning and underrepresented groups. These contributions create accessible online exhibits and collection-based educational sets that open up learning opportunities for everyone.

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