In August 2014, a group representing various Pennsylvania libraries and cultural heritage institutions met to discuss enhancing support for digital collections across the state by exposing them to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) through an official Service Hub in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This meeting sparked the Pennsylvania Digital Collections Project for the DPLA which eventually became known as PA Digital. Early on in the development of PA Digital, a statewide survey was done to assess the digital readiness of PA for a DPLA hub.

Building on work started at Temple University, developers from Penn State and Temple created PA Digital’s aggregation process that allows for harvesting metadata from institutions and exposing it to the DPLA through OAI-PMH. With this technology in place, PA Digital went live in the DPLA in August 2016. Since then, Temple staff has migrated the aggregator to new systems and continues to maintain metadata workflows. 

Since its launch, PA Digital’s cross-institutional team has worked to harvest over half a million items from PA institutions, develop valuable metadata and rights resources for contributors, launch an initiative to create primary source sets, and continue to reach out to new contributors to participate.

You can also read our blog posts for other recent updates on the project.

Map of Pennsylvania. Courtesy of West Chester University.