Photo Credit: Flickr user exostratics
Today, Knight Foundation is excited to announce $1 million in support for the Digital Public Library of America, a groundbreaking project that will make our country’s local archives digital, searchable and freely accessible.
This project is working towards the day that users will be able to search any topic – be it the Civil War or the New Deal – and immediately pull up information including pictures, videos, oral histories, manuscripts and more from collections across the country.
They're starting with seven pilot sites – with libraries and digital collaborative in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah participating as “service” hubs.
What most excites me though is that the project is going to involve communities in creating content for their archives, whether through giving context to or tagging content, or actually bringing in items to scan and record. It’s a great way to help accelerate libraries’ evolution from information warehouses to true digital community centers and content creators, a key focus of Knight Foundation’s Library Initiative.
Organizers launched this project because they began to see a paradox emerge: In this era when people expect information at their fingertips, our local collections that are so rich in history and cultural heritage are increasingly inaccessible because of budget cuts and staff reductions.