In late April, 350 librarians, archivists, educators, developers, and scholars convened at the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago for the 4th DPLAfest, a 2-day gathering of individuals doing work related to the national platform of digital collections that is the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). This year’s DPLAfest was sponsored by Chicago Public Library, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections, and Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS). DPLA is a single interface where users can search a wide range of digital collections from institutions across the country, from large libraries like the New York Public Library to smaller local organizations like the Mineral Point Historical Society in Wisconsin. Speakers and attendees included representatives from state, public, academic, and K-12 libraries across the country, vendor and non profit organization representatives, and international attendees representing their region’s versions of aggregated digital collections, such as Trove in Australia and Europeana in the European Union.
|Outgoing DPLA executive director Dan Cohen addresses|
attendees in the Winter Garden. Photo via DPLA Flickr
|Wildflowers near Moen Lake, WI 1970|
From the National Archives at College Park
|Postcard: Bookmobile, Madison WI|
From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
For example, a search for Trempealau, a place name unique to Wisconsin, returns over 820 results from 36 institutions across the country, including a majority from Wisconsin organizations. These results include a 1975 radio show recording about Trempealau County via the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a 1961 supper club menu from Wason’s in Galesville held by the Culinary Institute of America, and scans of a WWII diary from a rural Wisconsin farm boy who became a soldier and bronze star recipient, from a collection owned by the La Crosse County Historical Society.
|Wason's Supper Club Menu, 1961|
From the Culinary Institute of America
For more first-hand accounts of DPLAfest, check out DPLA's Storify, a collection of tweets from event attendees.
Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning