A new partnership in Oregon and Washington is helping libraries, museums, and cultural organizations make their digital collections more visible and accessible through a national platform known as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). This month, The Seattle Public Library has joined the Northwest Digital Heritage hub to contribute over 10,000 items from our digital collections to the DPLA.

Northwest Digital Heritage features more than 85,000 digitized items from over 70 contributing institutions across Oregon and Washington, including The Seattle Public Library; Multnomah County Library; Oregon Historical Society; Densho (Seattle, WA); Spokane Public Library; Yakima Valley Libraries; State Library of Oregon; and the Washington State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program.

“Cultural heritage organizations have been digitizing archival and special collections for more than two decades, but many of these collections are dispersed across the internet, in multiple locations,” said Washington State Librarian Sara Jones. “The Northwest Digital Heritage initiative combines state and local resources to house these important archives in one place, giving historians, researchers, teachers, journalists and the general public across the country easier and more convenient access to our historical treasures.”


As a DPLA “service hub,” Northwest Digital Heritage provides cultural institutions the following services:

  • Metadata “Harvesting.” Records are copied from their home systems, standardized and then transferred to DPLA.
  • Digital Collection Hosting. Smaller institutions are offered an online platform to host their digitized items, including historical documents, photographs, oral-history recordings and more.
  • Training and Support. Service hub staff, composed of teams at state libraries and the Oregon Heritage Commission, train cultural heritage organizations to digitize collections, edit and preserve digital files, and catalog materials to archival standards.

Northwest Digital Heritage is made possible with Library Services and Technology Act funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.


The Seattle Public Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. We promote literacy and a love of reading as we bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.

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For more information about the Northwest Digital Heritage project, visit www.northwestdigitalheritage.org, call The Seattle Public Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask Us. For ADA accommodations, please contact: leap@spl.org.