Our DPLA Beta Sprint contribution describes a model for how cultural heritage organizations with an existing online presence can maximize the discovery and use of their digital library collections through a minimal amount of centralized coordination facilitated by the DPLA. We believe that a significant amount of cultural heritage content is already published in digital form on the Web, but is largely hidden and poorly discoverable by the general public. In this context, we think that the DPLA initiative is well positioned to act as a catalyst to virtually move large amounts of this content from the invisible Web, to the visible and interoperable Web.
The proposed system consists of two basic components:
DPLA Collection Profiles provide a mechanism for the DPLA to host an centralized web-based, editable directory of collections on the Internet. The collection profiles would be both human readable, and machine actionable. The profiles would consist of an extensible set of descriptive and technical attributes about the collection. In our model, the general public can participate in the creation and promotion of these profiles.
DPLA Collection Achievements provide a mechanism for progressively expanding Collection Profile descriptions. Collection Achievements are named entities that represent specialized collection enhancements that can be attached to DPLA Collection Profiles. Achievements provide a versatile framework for describing many different kinds of collections. Achievement offerings can evolve over time to capitalize on new technology or new models for accessing collections.
The goal of this work is to enable service providers and developers to leverage this shared collection description infrastructure to build new aggregation and interoperability services. These services could include search indexing services, visualization tools, instructional tools, promotional tools, analytics services, and recommendation services.