Digital Public Library of America


The DPLA brings these different viewpoints, experiences, and collections together in a single platform and portal, providing open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage. – DPLA


  • Name: Digital Public Library of America
  • URL:
  • Purpose & Audience: The express purpose of the DPLA eliminate information silos and  to be a platform and portal which brings a wide range of information sources together in one place.
  • Info & Services: Over fifteen million items from libraries, museums and archives contributed by partners such as the Library of Congress, The Hathi Trust and the Internet Archive are searchable by exhibitions designed around a topic or theme, by place, or by date. The site offers multifaceted search options, including timelines and maps, media type, as well as traditional search prompts such as standard menus.


DPLA Distinctive Features

Exhibition Pinboard

A user friendly interface similar to Pinterest for exploring exhibitions. Arranged by topic, my eye was immediately drawn to the America During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Exhibits like these make for useful social history resources for educators, family historians and history buffs.




App Library

DPLA offers multiple apps which encourage creative engagement with materials, as well as an open invitation to contribute to the app library.


Timeline Search

The timeline feature offers surprising and quirky opportunities for random discovery. For example, searching for  moving images the timeline led to this intriguing chain of discovery, a timeline of moving image results, a list of results for the time period, a link to an item described as a lancet, a description of a bloodletting device used by country doctors of the time.



And then finally, to a video describing the function of the lancet, which was used by country doctors for bloodletting treatments.

Three fun and interesting apps are:


DPLA Images: Allows users to search digital library by image.


Historical Gifs: A Twitterbot supplies users with random moving images from the DPLA.


Wordpress Searcher Europena and DPLA: A plugin that creates widgets for searching Europeana and DPLA