January 28, 2022

More Money for Digital Public Library of America: Sloan Foundation and Arcadia Fund Announce $5 Million in New Grants For Project

$2.5 Million from Sloan Foundation
$2.5 Million from Arcadia Fund

Funding for about another 18 months of development.

UPDATED: Official Announcement:
Sloan Foundation and Arcadia Fund Announce Funding for the Digital Public Library of America

The Sloan Foundation and Arcadia Fund today announced a major contribution for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) in the form of combined $5 million in funding. The DPLA Steering Committee is leading the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all.

Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Peter Baldwin, Chair of the Donor Board at the Arcadia Fund, made the announcement at the DPLA plenary meeting today in Washington, DC. [Our Emphasis] The funding—split equally between Sloan and Arcadia—will support an intense two-year grassroots process to build a realistic and detailed workplan for a national digital library, the development of a functional technical prototype, and targeted content digitization efforts. Sloan has previously committed one million dollars towards the establishment of a DPLA Secretariat at the Berkman Center and to support the legal workstream of the DPLA initiative by developing solutions to copyright law obstacles facing public digital library initiatives.

“We are delighted to join with the Arcadia Fund in giving the DPLA a major boost towards its intensive, two year effort to create an open, distributed digital public library system,” said Weber. “This is a grand vision for a network of comprehensive online resources, tools, and services that will inform, educate, and empower everyone in the United States and eventually link us with the rest of the world. But we cannot do it alone and invite other funders to join us in this historic undertaking.”

“What Carnegie did for public libraries a century ago, the DPLA could—if successful—accomplish for our era,” said Baldwin. “We are delighted to be part of launching that effort.”

“We are excited to begin work on the DPLA as a full‐blown, hard‐driving initiative that promises to transform the world of libraries and the way that we meet the information needs of communities in America,” said John Palfrey, Chair of the DPLA Steering Committee. “We are deeply grateful to the Sloan Foundation and the Arcadia Fund for their support.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.