DPLA Beta Sprint

We were one of 60 teams participating in a “beta sprint” towards a Digital Public Library of America. Our beta sprint effort leveraged the IMLS Digital Collections and Content project’s 1000+ cultural heritage collections from libraries, museums, and archives from across the U.S. It developed new modes of interaction with this rich base of content and contributed many lessons learned building this national scale resource and from other major aggregation initiatives.


Our Beta Sprint Proposal

There were four interrelated projects within the framework of our beta sprint effort:

  • extending the DCC as a domestic foundation for curated content, principles, and processes for a DLPA prototype;
  • providing access to DCC’s rich collection of cultural and scientific heritage resources through a functional search service;
  • illustrating ways to increase public social engagement and enable curious exploration of nation-wide content through design mockups;
  • publishing a supplementary report that reviews and compares the scope, services, and architectures of large-scale digital resource aggregations, including DCC, Europeana, and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). This report will enable the DPLA community to better understand the factors that lead to success and identify challenges associated with various approaches used by large-scale aggregation projects.

Much like Europeana, a meta-aggregator and portal to European digitized collections, DCC brings together content from a wide range of digital cultural heritage institutions. The basic mode of aggregation is the same: metadata is centralized and indexed, providing integrated access to descriptions and thumbnails that link back to the digital object at the host institution. As an aggregator, DCC principles and practices recognize the importance of retaining curated collections and institutional identity in largescale aggregations. Collections and institutions both provide valuable organizational and intellectual context that users need for interpretation and use of digital materials and navigation through large bodies of distributed content. Our project will look at ways aggregation services can create context and help with content recruitment for the DPLA. For more information about our submission, see the narrative overview and supporting documents.

Who We Are

A collaboration between the Digital Library Federation and the IMLS Digital Collections and Content project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, our project team was composed of members affiliated with Rice University, the Digital Library Federation, the University Library at UIUC, and the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship at UIUC.

CIRSS, UIUC University Library, UIUC Digital Library Federation Rice University
Carole Palmer Timothy Cole Rachel Frick Geneva Henry
Richard Urban Thomas Habing Chelcie Rowell
Piotr Organisciak Winston Jansz
Katrina Fenlon Michael Tang
Jacob Jett
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