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Written by Richard Griffin   
Thursday, April 18 2013 09:26

Today, April 18, 2013, would seem to be an important day in American history.  Yet, the occasion has attracted precious little media attention.  You might expect many notices hailing the arrival of the Digital Public Library of America.  The DPLA, after all prom­ises “to make the holdings of America’s research libraries, archives and museums available to all Americans—and eventually to everyone in the world—online and free of charge.”

This quotation comes from Robert Darnton writing in the New York Review of Books. He is University Librarian at Harvard and took a leading role in bringing this project to fruition. It grew from a conference of forty people at Harvard in the fall of 2010.

The New York review was enthusiastic enough about it as to place an exclamation point after the title of Darnton’s article. But none of my friends seem to be aware of DPLA much less are they celebrating any kind of internal holiday. Still, I predict that many people will someday hail this new creation as one of our country’s proudest achievements.

There’s still a lot to be done before the full potential of this DPLA is available at large.  But its current possibilities surely deserve a hearty welcome, along with hopes for its future.