January 20, 2022

Smithsonian Institution Partnering with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

Note: At the bottom of this post, after today’s DPLA news, make sure to look at a brief overview of the Smithsonian Collections Database. This searchable and browsable resource comes direct from the SI and is available today (free). 

From the DPLA Announcement:

The Smithsonian Institution will join with the Digital Public Library of America to provide links to a wealth of the Institution’s cultural and scientific content. The DPLA pilot project, which combines and centralizes links to the collections of participating cultural institutions, launches April 18 in Boston.

The Smithsonian will serve as a digital content hub within the DPLA network, which provides links to the Smithsonian’s digital collection of books, journals, museum objects, manuscripts and videos. Through the DPLA, the Smithsonian Libraries will collaborate with renowned libraries, universities, archives and museums to reach a wide national audience.

“Our contribution to the Digital Public Library of America supports one of the Smithsonian’s major strategic goals, which is to broaden access to the Smithsonian’s vast museum collections,” said Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian.

“The DPLA will allow people who have rarely, if ever, visited the Smithsonian to find and learn from our archival and library collections in the context of America’s scientific and cultural heritage,” said Smithsonian Libraries Director Nancy E. Gwinn, who has represented the Smithsonian in the DPLA collaboration since its inception two years ago.

A Superb Resource Already Available From the Smithsonian

As we pointed out a few week’s ago, the Smithsonian continues to develop and provide access to 8 million catalog records along (with images for more than 800,000 items (and growing) via their superb Collections Search Center database that relaunched a few years ago.

This resource offers numerous ways to focus/limit your results and the entire database can be browsed by topic, name, date or other facets.  Finally, along with scanned images, the database also includes video, audio, full text docs, and more for some entries.

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.