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Major digital library networks work towards interoperability

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The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) will design its technical structure to promote interoperability with Europeana. DPLA provides access to digital collections from libraries, archives, and museums in the USA, while Europeana has developed a similar system to link the libraries, museums and archives of Europe.
 
‘The association between the DPLA and Europeana means that users everywhere will eventually have access to the combined riches of the two systems at a single click. The aggregated databases will include many millions of books, pamphlets, newspapers, manuscripts, images, recordings, videos, and other materials in many formats,’ said Robert Darnton, a DPLA Steering Committee member and university librarian at Harvard.
 
Jill Cousins, executive director of Europeana, added that ‘Europeana was designed to be open and interoperable, and to be able to collaborate with the DPLA is a validation of that aim.’
 
The new agreement between DPLA and Europeana aims to make their systems and data interoperable to the greatest possible extent and to promote open access to the greatest possible extent through joint existing and new policies concerning content, data, and metadata. They will also collaborate regularly in developing specific aspects of their systems, beginning with: an interoperable data model; a shared source code; and cooperative collection building.

Another outcome of the collaboration will be a virtual exhibition about the migration of Europeans to America. The DPLA and Europeana will digitise and making freely available material about the journey from the Old World to the New. This pilot project will include letters, photographs, and official records revealing the communities and hardships that migrants left behind and the culture shock of arriving in the New World.