On April 18, 2013 the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) launched on the web and has been growing ever since. As of June 2014, there were over 7 million searchable records. The site allows you to search library, archive and museum objects across the country. Some of the major content hubs include The National Archives, The Smithsonian Institution, The New York Public Library, Harvard Library and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The hope is that DPLA will one day become a national library, “bringing together digitized content from across the country into a single access point for end users.”
You can search by keyword, map location or timeline date. All of your search results will have a description of the object, picture or printed material and its physical location. Sometimes you will also be able to view the image or full text of the object.
The DPLA may be especially helpful for students looking for historical primary sources. Here are a few interesting things I found on DPLA in full image/full text:
- An image of a shell pendant found in Fort Myers, accession date 1916.
- Livestock Farming in Florida along the lines of the Florida East Coast Railway, 1914.
- The Impact of Desegregation on the Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Achievement Test Scores of Black and White Students in a Rural and an Urban Florida County by Annie Delories Smith, 1975.
Looking for more historical research tools? Visit the History Guide or contact Rachel Cooke, Librarian for History, Visual & Performing Arts and Language & Literature. She is available for research consultations or classroom visits.