UGA helping to build nationwide digital library

October 30, 2012

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Athens, Ga. - With support from two private foundations, the University of Georgia and GALILEO are helping to build a nationwide digital library.

The Digital Public Library of America is a groundbreaking project to make the nation's local archive digital, searchable and freely accessible. Launched last summer by Harvard University, the DPLA recently received a boost when the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation gave $1 million to create seven pilot sites with libraries in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah to serve as regional hubs. Georgia's share of the grant, together with additional funding from the Arcadia Foundation, is $350,000.

"We are so pleased to contribute to this national effort and to make sure that the record of Georgia's history and culture is represented," said Toby Graham, UGA's deputy university librarian and director of the Digital Library of Georgia.

The DPLA will launch a prototype in April that will make thousands of items available digitally.

"Georgia's public archives-in libraries, colleges and universities-have a rich collection that we're eager to share with the world," said Beverly Blake, Macon program director with the Knight Foundation. "Perhaps most importantly, this project will help ensure that our local communities engage with that history and contribute to the collection, helping our libraries become dynamic, digital community centers."

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia has operated since 2000 as part of Georgia's GALILEO virtual library. The DLG already includes more than a million digital files, according to Graham.

"This project will allow us to issue a call for nominations from libraries and archives and other institutions around the state to add more content to the Digital Library of Georgia, which will serve as a pipeline into the Digital Public Library of America," he said.

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