A wondrous thing happened this past week in the Digital Public Library of America going live. This portal provides the public with free, open access to endless cultural and historical materials that have been digitized at countless institutions.
A valuable support to all modern and traditional libraries, the DPLA brings “different viewpoints, experiences, and collections together in a single platform and portal, providing open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage.” (Quoting the DPLA history page)
One may use the search bar (pictured below) to find this Yiddish sheet music in its entirety, historic photos of synagogues around the world, or even this sound recording of broadcaster Claude Sullivan’s 1958 journey to the new State of Israel.
Although you may browse and access these items for free, please be aware that many of them are copyrighted by their creators or by the institution that houses them. Some you may use without asking permission– please check the “rights” section on the finding aid, as pictured below. This is the page that comes up when you click on the item’s title in the list of search results.
I hope you enjoy this precious resource as much as I do! It represents the new age of open information in libraries that can help us learn more about our cultural heritage and that of those with whom we share this earth. See you there!