The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a $1 million award to support the incorporation and launch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), a groundbreaking project that seeks to digitize and bring together the contents of our nation’s libraries and archives, and make them freely available to all online.
The NEH award announced today will specifically support the creation of the infrastructure for a national open-access digital library. The DPLA will partner with statewide digital library projects to establish a pilot group of “service hubs” responsible for coordinating the creation and dissemination of content within designated geographic areas. The project will also entail the designation of a number of large existing digital collections as “content hubs” that will make their data available through DPLA. It is expected that project participants will work together to develop agreements to protect of the rights of the many parties involved. One outcome will be the development of the common technological platform necessary for integration of collections from disparate sources.
The revolutionary potential of the DPLA initiative is akin to that of other NEH-supported endeavors such as the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), which in the 1980s and 90s established a fundamental set of methods and practices that now underpin most digital humanities scholarship. Similarly, NEH grants supported work on the Universal Scripts Project at the University of California, Berkeley, a project that expanded the scope of Unicode, the standard for digitally representing every character from the world’s languages on the World Wide Web and many text-processing systems.
Read the Complete Announcement