Benefits of sharing with DPLA

Why should your institution share your metadata with TDL and DPLA?

  • Amplifying your unique digital collections by sharing information about them with DPLA helps you reach new users who might never have discovered them otherwise. DPLA exposes your materials to a diverse global audience, including researchers, students, educators, genealogists, and more.

  • Your collections remain housed in your institution’s digital repository system while being shared and accessed in DPLA. TDL and DPLA only aggregate metadata about digital materials, not the materials themselves, so users are always directed back to your local repository to view and access those items.

  • DPLA includes materials from institutions throughout Texas and the United States, ranging from major national institutions to small local historical societies, in a powerful one-stop search experience. Combining your materials with this national collection creates new connections between items, helps users discover items they might not have known to look for, and contextualizes your community’s story within the national narrative.

Sharing your collections allows your items to be seem alongside similar materials from around the US, as with this photo from Houston Public Library next to similar items from Utah and Colorado.
  • Sharing with DPLA means that your materials can be seen in different contexts within the DPLA. They may be included in subject-based portals like the Black Women’s Suffrage Digital Collection and the Cleared to Land aviation portal, which automatically gather materials about a particular topic for easy access.  Metadata about items shared with DPLA is also made available through the DPLA API, which allows developers to build new tools and interfaces using that metadata.  Your materials might even be used to make an animated gif in the international GIF IT UP competition.

  • Being part of DPLA can make your digital library projects more attractive to funders and grant-makers, by broadening your collections’ reach and demonstrating engagement with a national network.

  • When you contribute metadata to DPLA, you join a national network of cultural heritage stewards who work together to increase access to digital resources. By participating, you can help increase local knowledge at your institution and across TDL about metadata quality & standards, copyright & rights statements, promoting digital collections, and related topics.

  • Sharing your metadata with DPLA often leads to improvements to that metadata. TDL is happy to share your metadata with DPLA as-is (provided it meets the minimum requirements). However, many institutions find that the process of looking at their metadata in DPLA, in collaboration with TDL staff, helps identify priority areas for cleanup and enrichment.

Animated gif created for GIF IT UP 2020, based on a film held at UNT (source).