The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a $1 million grant to the Digital Public Library of America to launch programs in seven states that will work to make content in archives and special collections digital, searchable, and freely available.
State libraries and digital library collaboratives in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah will be the first to participate in the effort and will provide direct services at the regional and local levels, digitizing thousands of items at each hub location, sending trainers to teach library staff how to categorize the digitized materials, and providing virtual storage space. A prototype that will make hundreds of thousands of digital items freely available is scheduled to launch in April 2013.
"Libraries and archives contain vast repositories of their community's everyday history, a rich past with local and national resonance," said George Martinez, director of information technology at the Knight Foundation. "Digitizing, categorizing, and sharing these cultural assets electronically helps libraries in their evolution from information storehouses into dynamic hubs using history to create content and engage the community."