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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Digital Public Library of America adds access to millions of records

The Digital Public Library of America is quickly becoming one of the major online portals for access to free information, including a significant number of genealogically pertinent documents and resources.

At its one year anniversary, it made the following announcement:

DPLA is proud to announce the addition of six major new partners and other significant milestones that attest to the tremendous momentum the project has as it enters its second year.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) this week expanded access to the full breadth of its digital collections through its partnership with DPLA, a major increase over its initial contribution of 14,000 records at DPLA’s launch. Over 1 million digitized items from throughout the Library’s research holdings are available, significantly increasing DPLA’s offerings by nearly 20%.
Here is a summary of the expansion of the DPLA during just the past year:

Since launching on April 18, 2013, DPLA has:
  • tripled the size of its collections, jumping from 2.4 million items to over 7 million; 
  • pulled in materials from over 1,300 organizations, up from 500 at launch; 
  • attracted over 1 million unique visitors to its website and over 9 million hits to its API (application programming interface); 
  • added new and innovative third-party apps to its growing App Library
  • received more than $2 million in grant funding from major American foundations and donors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for our work with public libraries, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to give us long-term stability, and an anonymous supporter who gave nearly a half-million dollars in appreciation of DPLA’s democratization of access, and many smaller donors who similarly supported our public-spirited mission; 
  • grown from a staff of four to eight, with two additional positions soon to be filled; and 
  • engaged the energy and support of its distributed, broad-based community through multiple outreach activities, including DPLAfest 2013, a two-day public event in Boston in October 2013 attended by hundreds, its popular volunteer Community Reps program which has fanned out to nearly all 50 states, and dozens of monthly open calls with its Board of Directors and Committees. 
You need to be aware of this website and its resources. You will probably be surprised.

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