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Welcome to the Digital Public Library of America planning initiative wiki!

DPLA Wiki Navigation
About the DPLA
DPLA Website
Main PageBerkman Center
Board of Directors
Steering Committee
Dev portal
Ongoing Work
Audience and ParticipationContent and Scope
Financial/Business ModelsGovernance
Legal IssuesTechnical Aspects
Additional Activities
Beta SprintWorkshopsEvents
Media and Blog Mentions
Possible Models
List of Models
Concept Note
Get Involved
Community PortalSign on
Join the listservListserv archives
Weekly listserv recapsSuggested Resources


Building on the work of the DPLA Steering Committee, the DPLA Board of Directors is leading the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. The Digital Public Library of America planning initiative, launched in December 2010 with generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, grew out of an October 2010 meeting at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which brought together over 40 representatives from foundations, research institutions, cultural organizations, government, and libraries to discuss best approaches to building a national digital library. That meeting resulted in a statement that serves as a jumping-off point for the initiative.

In March 2012, the Steering Committee drafted an updated Concept Note to describe the initiative, on which they seek comment. The original DPLA Concept Note was drafted in March 2011.


A number of substantive questions must be addressed in order to define a clear way forward for the DPLA. The primary activities of this project will take place under the following six workstreams in order to define consensus-driven next steps in each of these areas.

Audience and Participation
This workstream will collaborate with each of the other workstreams to ensure that decisions are being made that will best support the current and future needs of the broadest possible user group.
Content and Scope
This workstream will make recommendations for a collection development policy for the DPLA. One primary goal is to begin to identify and articulate the criteria for including materials in a proposed DPLA. This workstream will also confront questions regarding management of and access to distributed materials.
Financial/Business Models
This workstream will make recommendations for a sustainable business plan for the DPLA.
This workstream will make recommendations for a system of decision making and management for the DPLA.
Legal Issues
This workstream will make recommendations regarding how to approach and influence the legal and copyright environment in order to support equitable knowledge distribution in a digital world.
Technical Aspects
This workstream will explore the desired architecture for the DPLA and will make recommendations regarding technology to be used for its development and to build or facilitate building the discovery environment. This track will also examine the state of the art for digitizing books, video, audio, and other types of documents and determining how much it might cost to greatly increase the scope of current digitization efforts.

Public Discussion Listserv

We hope this list will help bring together publishers, authors, and interested parties from the educational community, public and research libraries, cultural organizations, state and local government, and private industry in an open dialogue regarding strategies for improving public access to comprehensive online resources.

Sign On

Are you committed to making the Digital Public Library of America a valuable national resource? Join people and institutions from across the country in pledging support for the DPLA by adding your name to the "DPLA Sign On" or emailing dpla at to be added. Current supporters include digital library luminaries, open access thought leaders, public librarians, technologists, and others interested in making a national digital library.

Sign on to the initiative

Additional Information

Digital Public Library of America


Board of Directors

Suggested Resources

Media and Blog Mentions

Help/How to Contribute

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software. For help with editing, consult the Editing Guide.

The evolution and success of this initiative rely on inputs from a diverse range of stakeholders and community members; we very much hope that this wiki will be the embodiment of a consensus-based and peer-produced approach. If you would like to edit this wiki, please create an account.

Appfest Series

The DPLA encourages the development of applications and tools using the DPLA platform and open API by developers of all skill levels and backgrounds. Appfest hackathons are open calls for creative and engaging uses of the DPLA API that take place throughout the year. As of February 11 2013, the DPLA has convened two events within the Appfest Series.

View the Appfest series