Washington, Oregon Partnership Expands Access to Digital Archives of Cultural Heritage


Northwest Digital Heritage (NWDH) – a collaboration between the Washington State Library, the State Library of Oregon and the Oregon Heritage Commission – is now a “service center” of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) enabling local cultural institutions to make their digital archives more visible and accessible across the country.“Cultural heritage organizations have been digitizing archives and special collections for more than two decades, but many of these collections are scattered across the Internet in multiple locations,” Washington State Librarian Sara Jones said in a report. communicated. “The Northwest Digital Heritage Initiative combines state and local resources to give historians, researchers, educators, journalists and the general public across the country easier and more convenient access to our historical treasures. “

Like a DPLA As a “service hub”, NWDH provides cultural institutions with the following services:

  • “Harvest” metadata through which the recordings are copied from their home systems, standardized, and then transferred to DPLA;
  • Digital Collection Hosting, which offers small institutions an online platform to house their digitized material, including historical documents, photographs, oral history recordings, etc.
  • Training and support, through which service desk staff, made up of teams from the State Libraries and the Oregon Heritage Commission, train cultural heritage organizations to digitize collections, edit and preserve digital files, and catalog material in accordance with archiving standards.

Northwest Digital Heritage’s inaugural dataset includes archives from more than 70 contributing institutions, with more expected to join later this year and into 2022. Many of these records were digitized as part of the Washington program Rural Heritage from the Washington State Library, a model of community digitization that will be extended to Oregon through this partnership.



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