The University Libraries is pleased to announce its participation in the collaborative effort, Digital Virginias, created by a group of universities in Virginia and West Virginia. In addition to George Mason University, Digital Virginias partners include University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, College of William and Mary, and West Virginia University.
Digital Virginias is the newest hub to join the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) – a nationwide digital project with the goal of maximizing public access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge. DPLA currently has 40 partners, including such national treasures as the National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Public Library, and others, including representatives of most of the 50 states. DPLA collections contain millions of items available to the public for research and exploration. Digital Virginias is currently comprised of more than 58,000 items, and expects to grow both collection items and participating regional partners throughout the upcoming year, thus building a network that will extend to capture and expose digital collections across both Virginia and West Virginia.
Within the Mason Libraries, preparing to join this endeavor was a team effort. Lynn Eaton, Director of Special Collections Research Center, and Bob Vay, Archivist, identified collections that the Libraries could submit to the hub. Peggy Griesinger, former Metadata Librarian, prepared all of the metadata for the items and served on the hub Group’s metadata committee (Tricia Mackenzie, Head of Metadata Services, and Ashley Howell, Metadata Specialist, will take over metadata duties going forward). Wally Grotophorst, Associate University Librarian for Digital Systems & Strategies, served on the hub’s Strategy Group.
About Mason’s collaboration, Lynn Eaton remarks, “The University Libraries Special Collections Research Center is excited to be able to add selected collections to the DPLA hub, as this provides an additional point of contact to our digital content. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the planning group, and look forward to adding even more of our manuscript materials to this incredible resource.”
Bob Vay adds, “It was gratifying to be asked to participate in this project. Two of the several collections we chose to include (George Mason University Yearbooks and the “Frankly Speaking” radio programs) are among my personal favorites. Inclusion into the DPLA exposes them to a much wider audience. I see this as a big win for those who desire access to interesting content!”
John Zenelis, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, commented that “Digital Virginias is an ambitious longer-term undertaking to make accessible to scholars and to the general public alike the rich cultural resources that reside at not only the currently six participating universities, but to gradually encompass the holdings of other higher education institutions, historical societies, museums, and other cultural entities in the two states. As part of the Digital Virginias network, Mason Libraries has taken on the role to assist other such organizations in the greater Northern Virginia region as they initiate digital projects for future inclusion in the Digital Virginias service hub.”
To search items in the collection, visit https://dp.la/news/digital-virginias-is-now-a-dpla-hub. For more about Digital Virginias, visit https://digitalvirginias.org/.