Two years in the making, the DLPA will make available to the public 2.4 million records at its launch, including electronic images, video and audio from America’s libraries, archives and museums. It also makes many scientific records available.
“You will find gems that include daguerreotypes of … former [President] Abraham Lincoln, images of women marching for the vote in Kentucky, news film clips of the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights movement, The Book of Hours, an illuminated manuscript from 1514, Notes on the State of Virginia, written by Thomas Jefferson, and paintings by Winslow Homer,” Emily Gore, DPLA Director for Content said in a statement.
The portal contains materials found in American archives, libraries, museums and cultural heritage institutions. The portal provides various ways to search and scan through its collection of distributed resources. Special features include a dynamic map, a timeline that allow users to visually browse by year or decade, and an app library that provides access to applications and tools created by external developers using DPLA’s open data.
“The wonder and joy of entering an expansive library for the first time is truly a special feeling. We are delighted to be able to share this unified, open collection with Americans and the world, and can’t wait to see what people discover, and what new applications and knowledge will be created,” Dan Cohen, executive director of the DPLA, said in a statement.
The effort to build the digital library was led by the Library of Congress, the Hathi Trust Digital Library and the The Internet Archive, which provided books, images, historic records, and audiovisual materials.
While many universities, public libraries, and other public and private organizations have digitized materials, they are often digital collections that exist in silos.
In December 2010, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, along with the the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, hosted a conference of leading experts in libraries, technology, law and education to begin work on the digital library project.
In October 2011, the Berkman Center hosted hundreds of public and research librarians, technical innovators, digital humanists, and other volunteers who formed six work teams to map out the scope, design, and construct the DPLA.
The DPLA portal is powered by a rich repository of information, known as the DPLA platform, and uses an open API that can be used by software developers, researchers and others to create novel environments for learning, tools for discovery and engaging apps.
Twitter signed an agreement in April 2010 to provide the library with an archive of every public tweet since the company went live in 2006, and the Library recently provided an update on its progress. The initial stage of the project, which includes a complete copy of all tweets covering that four-year span, will be finished by the end of the month.
The project is now shifting its focus to making the collection accessible to lawmakers and researchers. The library has permission from Twitter to share the tweets with vetted researchers at least six months after they were published, provided they are not used for profit or redistributed.
“It is clear that technology to allow for scholarship access to large data sets is lagging behind technology for creating and distributing such data,” the library noted in a public document about its progress.
The library said the initial four-year archive contained about 21 billion tweets that take up 20 terabytes when uncompressed, including data fields. It continues to receive and process messages from Twitter, which are now organized into files representing hour-long segments by Gnip, a service provider with which Twitter also partnered in 2010 to provide commercial access to the full range of tweets.
The full archive now requires 133.2 terabytes for two compressed copies, which are stored on tape in separate locations for safe keeping.
In addition to music, the device may also stream other media, the Journal reported on Thursday, quoting anonymous sources familiar with the company’s plans.
The Google home entertainment system, which could make its debut later this year, would let users download digital content and stream it to other home devices like speakers also made by Google or by other vendors. The product is the brainchild of Google’s Android team, the Journal reported.
Google has a cloud-based online music service called Google Music, which includes song and album sales and is integrated with the company’s Google+ social network. Google Music also lets users store and play back music.
Google Music’s collection of songs and albums is available in the Android Market, which is accessible via Android devices and Web browsers. Google Music is compatible with Android and Apple iOS devices, and can also be accessed from PC browsers.
Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from IDG News Service. The company declined to comment when reached by the Journal.
Several analysts, however, were skeptical that the rumored device would mark a serious foray by Google into the hardware business. They suggested it is more likely that Google is planning a device to prime the market for other products to support enhanced multimedia offerings.