Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) acquires 1.7 million titles from HathiTrust

If you are a genealogical researcher, you should already know about the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), a new initiative to add millions of free online records in a virtual library format. You should also know about the HathiTrust, a consortium of university library digital collections with over 10 million total digitized volumes.  Now the HathiTrust is participating with the DPLA and has put 1.7 million digitized volumes online. Here is the description of the acquisition:
At the start of the summer we announced the introduction of the HathiTrust Digital Library as a DPLA Content Hub. Now, with the summer winding down, we’re excited to share that 1.7 million metadata records associated with almost 3.5 million of HathiTrust’s freely available books, journals, government documents, and more are now accessible on and through the DPLA application programming interface (API). That doubles the DPLA’s offerings from 2.4 million records in April to almost 4.5 million today.
Now we are all getting our minds boggled over the huge numbers of digital items going online, but these are really large libraries with thousands of genealogy related books and local histories.  Do you know that the people you are looking for are not in these huge collections?


  1. Isn't this just a duplication though? These books are already freely accessible online and now they are going to be accessible though another site also? In one sense I'd like to see each of these ultra-large repositories hold unique collections. That seems a better use of resources.

    1. Isn't that what libraries do? Hold copies of books that are available somewhere else? This is an online library not an online repository.

  2. To the Anonymous user - this is not a duplication of content per se. DPLA includes meta-data records of resources available online -- not the actual records themselves. By searching DPLA, you get to the content by linking out to the original website. What is great about DPLA is that the search is consolidated in one place. Over time, I forsee a tremendous added value.