Back from DPLA – The DLF/DCC Project: Kicking the Tires

Having finally dug out from underneath, I’ve started to go back through the presentations from the DPLA Plenary meeting, held two weeks ago in Washington, DC. Sending time with the DLF/DCC project, several thoughts occur…

As a gateway to institution based digital collections, this version of the DPLA is only as good as the collections it links to; is there (or will there be) support for local historical societies and public libraries to digitize unique holding in their collections?

Searching on “Peabody Essex” in the general, home page search field, brought up three items, the first being a book, Early Voyages to California, by Albert Peabody, in the Library of Congress America Memory collection.  While American Memory gives the complete text of Mr. Peabody’s book, it doesn’t show the text as it originally appeared; something feels lost in the transcription.

A governance issue regardless of what form DPLA takes  is the question of standard making. Will there be a body that will request or require contribution collections to conform a particular set of cataloging standards?  In the DLF/DCC beta, the list of Institutions by name is beginning to show signs of the need for authority control (I clicked on Amherst Public Library, wondering if it would link to Amherst, Massachusetts or Amherst, New Hampshire, and found that it was a link to the library in Amherst, Ohio.)

It wasn’t immediately clear what the Collections section listed.  It took a bit of browsing to learn that this was a list of special collections within a library, or an exhibition mounted by a museum.  With the University of Illinois playing a role in this beta, we see several collections featuring Abraham Lincoln.  If this scheme for listing Collections is expanded nationally, we may end up seeing very long lists –
Abraham Lincoln:
Abraham Lincoln:
Abraham Lincoln:
Abraham Lincoln:
… Perhaps subcategories would help.

Also in the Collections section, typing “ballroom” in the Collections search function doesn’t bring up the American Ballroom Companion.  Maybe the search parameters should include keywords in the titles of the Collections.

DLF/DCC always for browsing by item type – images, texts, artifacts. Could AV recordings be included?

A Home button will be included in the next version, right?

Overall, a sound approach to a digital public library.*
*With a few kinks to be worked out. (Added 11/4/11)

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