Harvard to contribute materials to Digital Public Library of America

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The Harvard Library  plans to share several collections with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)—becoming the first DPLA content hub.

The Harvard Library is dedicated to providing open access to them, where possible, through digitization and online dissemination. Through its collaboration with the DPLA, Harvard will contribute to global access to knowledge.

Robert Darnton, Harvard University Librarian and DPLA Steering Committee member, noted, “By making their special collections available to the public through the DPLA, research libraries can contribute mightily to the democratization of access to knowledge.  Harvard’s collections, built up since 1638, form the largest university library in the country.  By supporting the DPLA, we will make the choicest items in them accessible to everyone in America—and eventually, we hope, to everyone in the world.”

In response to the DPLA’s call, the Harvard Library is actively exploring what collections it could contribute.

“The Harvard Library is committed to collaboration and open access. Earlier this year, the library made more than 12 million of its records publically available, and is actively pursuing additional collaborative and open access projects. We hope this contribution is one of many steps toward sharing the vital cultural knowledge in libraries with all,” said Mary Lee Kennedy, senior associate provost for the Harvard Library.

The DPLA is still taking shape, and Harvard’s collaboration with it is contingent upon working out satisfactory arrangements on a range of matters.  The Harvard Library will ensure that any materials made available by it through the DPLA do not infringe copyright.