As the demand increases for course materials that are digitally available and free, so do the resources for where to retrieve them. Fortunately, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is one more resource to visit when looking for these additional resources. The planning process for the Digital Public Library of America began in late 2010 and after 2½ years it officially launched on April 18, 2013. So, what is this exactly? As stated on the DPLA website, “The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.” Therefore, anyone has digital access to all of the resources including: photographs, metadata information (description of the item), moving images, sound files, books, and manuscripts. These files link directly to the original source on the content provider’s website.
Even though all of the items are digitally available and many of the items are in the public domain, there are copyright restrictions depending on each item. For example, if you open an item’s metadata and look at the Rights field or follow the link to the provider’s website, you should be able to determine its usage options. Here are some examples of what the verbiage may include: “Images are to be used for educational purposes only, and are not to be reproduced without permission from...;” “We encourage use of this Material only for non-profit and educational purposes, such as personal research, teaching and private study…;” and “Digital Image © 2001 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.” Also, as far as downloading items, some can be downloaded, whereas, for other items the downloading capabilities are determined by the content provider.
If you are interested in learning more about the Digital Public Library of America, please watch this 16-minute screencast tour, narrated by Linda W. Braun, library consultant and educator. This tour will surely captivate you! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Copyright Center or 402-557-7305. As always, thank you for your support!