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Turning Digital

State Library of NSW.

Museums and Galleries of NSW, Turning Digital: delights, dangers and drama, 7 July 2015

The State Library of NSW recently held a Digitisation seminar for the GLAM sector. The seats were booked out well ahead of indicating strong interest in all things digital.

The keynote presentation, The Power of the Network was delivered by Rachel L Frick, Director of Business Development at the Digital Public Library of America.

This was an entertaining and informative presentation about the rationale for the development of the DPLA, how it operates and the challenges it hopes to overcome in order to meet their goal of “bringing together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage sites, and making them freely available to students, teachers, researchers, and the general public.”

The DPLA is a portal for discovery, similar to the National Library’s Trove and featuring millions of items from collections across the United States and containing materials from around the world. It’s also a platform that allows those materials accessible via the DPLA website and through innovative and creative apps and other sites.

Their Strategic Plan 2015-2017 notes that they have grown from 2.4 million items from 500 donating institutions at launch, to surpass 7 million items from over a thousand donating institutions, in one year! Public libraries and university libraries are the major content contributors, but museums and historical societies are the next biggest contributors.

Frick’s presentation raised two related issues that led to further discussion in question time: rights statements and the risks vs. the benefits of opening collections to multiple users by assigning Creative Commons and other open rights permissions.

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