Log on to the Digital Public Library of America and discover a newly launched, massive collection of historical books, manuscripts, documents, photos, and videos from across the country.
“The idea behind the DPLA is fairly simple actually—it is the attempt, really a large-scale attempt, to knit together America’s archives, libraries, and museums, which have a tremendous amount of content,” said Dan Cohen, the library’s executive director.
The library, which is free to all users, launched with more than two million items culled from places like the Smithsonian, the National Archives, New York Public Library, and Harvard University. Everything is viewable online, and many of the items are licensed under the public domain. “It means that we’re giving away all this data for free for people to use in whatever way they want.”
Here’s a sampling of 5 great resources:
Explore your home’s history
One way to browse the library’s massive collective is by location—just click on your homestate on the site’s map of the United States to see what treasures from your neck of the woods turn up. Vintage wildlife photos from Minnesota, newspaper clippings chronicling the history of Georgia, and photos of Native American artifacts from Washingtonstate are among the goodies.
Rare images of our first presidents
Our earliest presidents are usually depicted in paintings, but now you can browse rare daguerreotypes (early forms of photographs) of Abraham Lincoln and even George Washington.
Vintage footage from the civil rights movement
Watch scarcely seen videos of important moments during the civil rights movement of the 1960s: footage of Freedom Riders, a young Tom Brokaw interviewing a Georgia mayor in 1965, and a clip of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking about voting rights in 1962 are among the fascinating records available.
Boston Sports Arenas
One of the library’s current featured collections, “Boston Sports Temples,” features beautiful black-and-white photos of the first days of Braves Field, Fenway Park, Boston Garden, and Suffolk Downs pulled from the Boston Public Library’s archives.
Follow the fascinating story of the passing of the 18th amendment, the repeal of Prohibition, and all the drama that transpired in between, with a series of slideshows.
From article by: Vi-An Nguyen