Press: The Minnesota Digital Library receives total $350,000 grant to contribute to DPLA

Posted by Vicky Zeamer on November 28, 2012 in Press.

Funding will help to spotlight Minnesota’s special resources, increase outreach, and develop “Born Digital” immigration oral-histories

“MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (11/26/2012) —The Minnesota Digital Library, a state-wide collaboration consisting of the University of Minnesota, Minitex, the Minnesota Historical Society, and other key institutions, was chosen to be a key early contributor to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The groundbreaking project aims to make our nation’s collections of significance to the study of American life digital, searchable and accessible to the public.

“With $2.8 million in funding, the DPLA will launch pilot projects in several states. Minnesota and state libraries and regional digital library collaboratives in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah will participate as “service” hubs in the pilot effort.

“Ultimately, users of the DPLA will be able to search across a network of local collections, finding information on a topic — like the Civil War or the Great Depression — via database entries from throughout the country. Organizers will also test ways to engage communities in contributing content to the archives, whether through adding context and tags to digital records, or sharing photos or recordings to digitize and make accessible.

“The Minnesota Digital Library will receive about $350,000 in funding — $250,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and $100,000 from the Knight Foundation. The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) is a service of Minitex, which is a joint program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota.

“Funding will be used for:

  • Digitizing existing special collections held by libraries, museums and historical societies and organizations across Minnesota, making them searchable and accessible through the DPLA.
  • Providing outreach and education to communities about the DPLA, including how to access its resources.
  • Supporting the development of new, “born digital” content, such as oral histories from first-generation immigrants. “

From a University of Minnesota press releaseU of M chosen for national digital library project

Chance to expand long-tradition of digital scanning and archiving projects

“In 2007, the University was part of a similar partnership with Google when it offered the company up to a million books to scan in exchange for discounted subscription rates to its digital collection.

“Butler said the trend toward digitizing library and archival content, which began about 20 years ago, gives the public access to items that might otherwise be ignored. He said some of the materials in the Minnesota Digital Library were sitting in the back rooms of small historical organizations.

“They would have never seen the light of day,” he said.

“Besides greater accessibility to local items, Butler said putting pieces in digital form also provides good backup.

“The University has also digitized its more traditional library materials in other digital libraries like HathiTrust, Butler said.”

From Tyler Gieseke’s article in the Minnesota Daily, U to help with nat’l digital library

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