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Digital Public Library of America Collaboration

Sharing Minnesota's Story with America

The Minnesota Digital Library collaborates with the Digital Public Library of America to increase national online access to MDL partner collections across the state. By working together, we offer users access to millions of items—photographs, maps, manuscripts, audio-visual materials, and more—from libraries, archives, and museums across Minnesota and the United States.

Data Aggregation

As a DPLA service hub, the MDL helps bring digital libraries from organizations across Minnesota into the DPLA. All materials shared with MDL directly are also shared with DPLA. In addition, to broaden our participation and the participation of regional archives and cultural heritage organizations in DPLA, MDL has agreed to share with DPLA the following collections not currently available through MDL’s library.

DPLA Working Groups

MDL staff are actively engaged in nation-wide DPLA initiatives through participation in DPLA’s working groups. MDL Outreach Coordinator Molly Huber, team leader of the local standardized rights statements implementation project, was also the initial co-chair of DPLA’s Rights Statements Working Group (RSWG). The RSWG aggregated existing rights resources available throughout the county and made them available to stakeholders through a website,

MDL Metadata Librarian Greta Bahnemann is a member of the DPLA Metadata Working Group. The Metadata Working Group is charged with reviewing the DPLA Metadata Application Profile (MAP) on a regular basis and deciding on the need for updates or revisions; evaluating the need for and developing metadata quality guidelines, documentation, and training to improve the quality of metadata at DPLA.

DPLA's newest task force, the Digital Curation Task Force, is responsible for developing best practices guides and a model for the creation of educational resources and exhibitions with DPLA collections. MDL Digital Curator Stephanie Hess serves as a co-chair of this group.

Public Library Partnership Project

The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) was one of five Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Service Hubs to be sub-awarded a grant in 2014 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, through the DPLA, for the Public Library Partnership Project (PLPP). The purpose of the PLPP was to train public library staff on basic digitization concepts and skills, to encourage and facilitate their participation in their local digital libraries and the DPLA, and to create collaborative online exhibitions based on materials digitized through this project.

Digital Skills Training & Digital Projects

During summer 2014, MDL and DPLA staff collaborated to offer four day-long Digital Skills Training sessions to 31 individuals from 22 different public libraries and collaborating historical societies around Minnesota. The grant also provided funds to digitize 5,000 images of historic interest from across Minnesota. MDL partnered with organizations around the state, including many groups who had not contributed to MDL before, to select appropriate materials from their collections for digitization. 

Online Exhibitions

Two online exhibitions premiered as part of the final phase of the grant. These exhibits were created using material digitized through the PLPP, as well as other content from MDL and DPLA.