This week the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $1 million grant for a project to digitize U.S. local archives to make them searchable and freely accessible. Community news publishers might want to follow, and perhaps participate in or highlight content from this project.
The goal of the Digital Public Library of America is that one day that people will be able to search online about any topic, from the Civil War to oil and gas drilling, and immediately retrieve photos, videos, interviews, articles, oral histories, manuscripts and more from historical collections housed in libraries and institutions around the U.S.
Pilot sites for this project are in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah.
Jorge A. Martinez, Knight's director for information technology, notes: "What most excites me though is that the project is going to involve communities in creating content for their archives -- whether through giving context to or tagging content, or actually bringing in items to scan and record. It's a great way to help accelerate libraries' evolution from information warehouses to true digital community centers and content creators, a key focus of Knight Foundation's Library Initiative."
The Knight grant, along with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Services, will build the technological foundation to connect the project's first physical locations and begin delivering services to libraries and archives.
The News and Tools for for Digital Innovators blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.