Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Astonishing Digital Public Library of America

I had no idea there was anything like the Digital Public Library of America until I saw it referenced in the Biblliocraft book I bought several weeks ago. It's fascinating what I uncover with it. Now I'm hooked. 

DPLA is a gigantic digital storage locker I can paw through to search, explore and discover enticing items to use or read for fun. It is a discovery tool. With it I've found public domain and openly licensed books, images and other content stored in US archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions. 

I love how it finds items I didn't think to look for like when I used its home page search tool to find "illuminated manuscripts". I amazingly netted 3,341 results from 62 contributing institutions. That kept me busy a very long time. 

To decide my best plan of attack I can click to arrange them by relevance, alphabetically or date. They're listed in sections divided by term, location, language, institution and more. The items are listed with bibliographic information and include a picture if available.

DPLA has a help page with videos about using it and other information. You find it on the topmost bar.

There are also a searchable timeline and map pages. The map search for "manuscripts" returned 1,139 results visually displaying their 28 locations. That tells me how far and where I can go to see the actual entries if I want. 

Its exhibitions page tells stories compiled from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. This interesting, valuable page is, however, a time thief. 

While this is free after I registered I'm now able to save or share what I discovered. I'll be able to easily return to them later.  

I don't know if you've come across the Digital Public Library of America <www.dp.la> I haven't seen it when I googled anything, probably because it's more a tool than a digital page. It's also only been around since 2013. 

Prior Related Posts:
Wow! Scribal Research Has Changed