The bombing on Marathon Monday, the chaos surrounding Copley Square, and the subsequent manhunt at the end of last week overshadowed the launch of a very exciting project that has been several years in the works: the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The planned celebration of the DPLA launch at the Boston Public Library at Copley was cancelled (though there will be an event in the fall), but the DPLA did go live as planned, and you can check it out here.
What is the DPLA? Dan Cohen, Executive Director of the DPLA, outlines its three key elements:
- An easy-to-use portal where anyone can access America’s collections and search through them using novel and powerful techniques, including by place and time.
- A sophisticated technical platform that will make those millions of items available in ways so that others can build creative and transformative applications upon them, such as smartphone apps that magically reveal the history around you.
- An institution that seeks innovative means to make more cultural and scientific content openly available.
Director of the DPLA Secretariat Maura Marx said, “The DPLA’s goal is to bring the entire nation’s rich cultural collections off the shelves and into the innovative environment of the Internet for people to discover, download, remix, reuse and build on in ways we haven’t yet begun to imagine….Regular users can search in the traditional way using the portal, and developers and innovators can build on big chunks of code and content using the platform—we’re creating access, not controlling it.”
So what are you waiting for? Check it out! (Click on the image above to go straight to the home page.)