Palmer, CIRSS participate in DPLA beta sprint project

Posted: August 12, 2011

Professor Carole Palmer, director of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS), has been awarded a planning grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to participate in the Beta Sprint project launched by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

Palmer is working with her co-PI Rachel Frick at the Digital Library Federation, a program of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). They are developing a functional prototype that will redesign the IMLS Digital Collections and Content (IMLS DCC) resource as a core base of content for the DPLA. The IMLS DCC, originally launched in 2003, is an aggregation of digital collections from libraries, museums, and archives, supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and developed through a collaboration between CIRSS and the University Library.

Sixty participants from across the country have expressed interest in sharing their ideas on a variety of aspects of the DPLA, including policy, recruiting content, metadata and indexing. The DLF/IMLS DCC beta sprint effort leverages the DCC’s 1000+ cultural heritage collections from across the U.S. It will develop new modes of interaction with this rich base of content and contribute many lessons learned building this national scale resource and from other major aggregation initiatives.

Palmer has been part of early discussions regarding the content and scope of the DPLA project, and now she and her team are contributing their ideas on how the DPLA could best achieve their goal of “making the cultural and scientific record available to all.”

“As the DPLA planning initiative moves forward, we are optimistic that the DPLA community and public can help us think about what a DPLA might look like, in practical – and perhaps unexpected – ways, as platform, architecture, interface, and beyond,” said John Palfrey, chair of the DPLA Steering Committee. “We hope geeks and librarians, especially, will join forces to develop beta submissions in support of this initiative.”

“The Beta Sprint is where the dream of a seamless and comprehensive digital library for every person begins to grapple, technically and creatively, with what has already been accomplished and what still need to be developed,” said Doron Weber, Vice President of Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and a Steering Committee member. “The DPLA represents the broadest coalition of stakeholders ever assembled who are dedicated to free and universal access to knowledge for all, and the Beta Sprint will help us kick off an 18-month program to construct, brick by digital brick, this beautiful new edifice.”

Working with Palmer at CIRSS are Katrina Fenlon and Jacob Jett, coordinators on the DCC, as well as Peter Organisciak and Richard Urban, both doctoral students and research assistants on the project.

The Digital Public Library of America is based at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Final presentations are due September 1, 2011 with a larger meeting to explore the sixty national submissions to be held in October.

More information on the Beta Sprint, including the press release, can be found on the DPLA website.


Filed Under: Digital Libraries, CIRSS