We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Digital Public Library of America. Launched in April 2013, the DPLA brings together millions of digitized books, artworks, and rare documents from American libraries, archives, and museums. Our collaboration has begun with nearly 100,000 records for digital images and texts from the Getty Research Institute’s Library and Special Collections, which contain a vast trove of rare and unique materials for the study of visual culture. In this work we join 20 other partners including the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian, and our own Los Angeles colleagues the USC Libraries.
Via a beautifully designed, easy-to-use search, the DPLA makes available digital resources that would otherwise be findable only through individual institutions’ catalogues and specialized search portals. Results link to the digital items directly through partner institutions’ online catalogues as well as to shared repositories such as the Internet Archive (also a DPLA partner).
Why This Partnership
The DPLA and the Getty share a commitment to making cultural materials ever more widely and freely available through technology. To make real the DPLA’s vision of “open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage,” cultural institutions must actively digitize, catalogue, and publish their knowledge resources. But equally, they must make these resources readily accessible for myriad new uses. DPLA enables novel and transformative uses of contributors’ materials by providing tools that can be used by software developers, researchers, and others to create innovative platforms for learning, tools for discovery, and other interesting applications. Simple examples of such tools include geo-mapping and timeline options.
We are furthermore encouraged by the DPLA’s partnership with Europeana, the European counterpart, and their mutual commitment to promoting open access collaboratively through content programs, such as joint exhibitions, as well as through shared research, policy development, and strategies for collection building. In fact, a new webpage provides unified access to the combined riches of American and European cultural institutions in a single search. It is an exciting moment for education, scholarship, and cultural understanding.
What’s Available Now
As a DPLA content hub, the Getty Research Institute has contributed metadata—information that enables search and retrieval of material—for nearly 100,000 digital images, documentary photograph collections, archives, and books dating from the 1400s to today. We’ve included some of the most frequently requested and significant material from our holdings of more than two million items, including some 5,600 images from the Julius Shulman photography archive, 2,100 images from the Jacobson collection of Orientalist photography, and dozens of art dealers’ stockbooks from the Duveen and Knoedler archives.
Moving forward, the Getty will make more digital content available through the DPLA as our collections continue to be cataloged and digitized.