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MeL Minute

Digital Public Library of America

Are you familiar with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)?  If not, in a nutshell, it is a national digital library freely available to anyone with Internet access containing books, images, historic records and audiovisual materials.  First talked about in the 1990s and with serious planning occurring in 2010, the DPLA officially launched in April 2013. 

Michigan’s “service hub responsibilities are shared by the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services and the Library of Michigan.  Collections shared with DPLA cover topics including the history of the Motor City, historically significant American cookbooks, and Civil War diaries from the Midwest.”

So, what does this mean for you and your patrons? Plenty. It’s collaboration on a grand scale that supports educational uses through sharing curated primary source sets, support of National History Day, Public Library Partnerships Project, and more. The Michigan content totals a little more than 40,000 items from the initial five institutions working on the project. This will grow as we move forward adding content and additional organizations to the Michigan Service Hub.  When you have a chance, take a look at the DPLA site – you won’t be disappointed. 

Michigan residents or Michigan library access only. 

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