The Digital Public Library of America went live on the web yesterday, April 18th. It contains exhibits and materials from all over the country in all kinds of collections. The featured exhibitions that are up now include:
- Activism in the U.S. – including Civil Rights Movements, Demonstrations and Actions, Education Activism, Anti-War Activism, Women’s and LGBT Activism
- Indomitable Spirits: Prohibition in the United States – themes in this exhibit include Early Alcohol Consumption, Brewing of a Temperance Movement, The Nation Dries Out, Quenching the National Thirst, Unintended Consequences and Legacy
- This Land Is Your Land: Parks and Public Spaces – including themes of Building the Parks, Landscapes, Protecting the Parks and Wildlife and People
There is a pretty cool timeline, where you can see what resources are available for a particular year (there were 279 items available for 1801 – including “the last dying words and confession of Joshua Schemp, alias Kemp, [a gipsey] who was executed at Fisherton in Wiltshire, April 1 1801: for horse stealing” and 278 other interesting tidbits from that year.
You can also use apps such as the Library Observatory, a tool for searching and visualizing the DPLA collections to look at the library in different ways. The DPLA provides lots of different APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that will, hopefully, make sure that lots of people use these public domain and Creative Commons images and resources for cool websites, applications and exhibits of their own in the future.
Check out the really nice article at the NY Review of Books for more information!