Site URL: DP.LA
Content: The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an online collection of millions of photographs, maps, sounds, manuscripts, books and more—all accessible anytime, anywhere, by anyone.
Design: Unlike many library and museum sites, the DPLA offers a semi-interactive platform for the items in its exhibits, bringing the user into the story each artifact is telling. Instead of being passive consumers of information, site visitors can zoom and otherwise manipulate the images on screen. While this may seem like a minor technological offering, it does wonders in terms of engagement.
Review: The DPLA brings together the holdings of America’s libraries, archives and museums, making them freely available to the world. The site offers a single point of access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images and more—from libraries, archives and museums around the United States. Users can browse and search the DPLA’s collections by timeline, map, format and topic; save items to customized lists; and share their lists with others. Users can also explore digital exhibitions curated by the DPLA’s content partners and staff.
Bottom Line: In terms of the sheer amount of information and the breadth of topics covered, it’s hard to beat the DPLA.