Ohio Digital Network logo
July 20, 2022

The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce the Ohio Digital Network (ODN) has surpassed 300,000 digitized items that are now freely accessible through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). As Ohio’s service hub for the DPLA, ODN is working to make digital collections from Ohio cultural heritage institutions more accessible to the world. DPLA serves as a portal to over 46 million cultural heritage items such as images and photographs, texts, videos, and sounds from libraries, museums, and archives across the country.

Since its launch in 2018, the numbers of ODN contributors and cataloged items, and amount of usage has grown significantly. ODN debuted with 11 Ohio institutions collectively providing access to more than 90,000 digitized items through DPLA. Today, that number has grown to 38 cultural heritage institutions contributing access to more than 300,000 items.

Examples of items accessible through DPLA from ODN include:

Photograph of the West Side of High Street, Circa 1850. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.
Photograph of the West Side of High Street, Circa 1850. 1850/01/01-1865/12/31. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.  http://www.worthingtonmemory.org/scrapbook/pictures/photograph-west-side-high-street-circa-1850.
View of theTransue and Williams hammer shop
View of the hammer shop. 1913. Photograph. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America. http://www.alliancememory.org/cdm/ref/collection/places/id/326. From Alliance Places collection in Alliance Memory. Contributed by Rodman Public Library.

Both ODN and DPLA provide usage guides and primary source sets to help students, researchers, and history enthusiasts discover collections of images, audio recordings, letters, manuscripts, and more from events and milestones in history, as well as shifts in culture.

“Ohio Digital Network is not just a project with a technologically minded name, it truly is a network of passionate and talented cultural heritage professionals, and its achievements are due to their collaborative efforts,” said Jen Johnson, Library Consultant for Digitization. “Years before our collections appeared in DPLA, dozens of meetings and planning sessions were held that shaped this program and gave it a stable foundation for success. With that strong base of support in mind, I look forward to the next 300,000 items and to continuing to build and grow the ODN community.”

ODN assists participating institutions with resources, support, and vital information, enabling metadata to be collated and ultimately harvested by DPLA. Only the metadata – the information describing an item – is harvested. The original and digital items, and management of usage rights, remain with the contributing institution.

Since 2020, the State Library of Ohio has awarded $57,000 in federal LSTA funded Metadata Mini-Grants to 11 libraries, a museum, and a cultural heritage organization. Up to $4,999 may be requested for these special grants. Metadata Mini-Grants may be used for remediating metadata for collections that have already been digitized and creating new digital collections to add to the Ohio Digital Network’s collection on DPLA. The deadline to apply for a 2022 Metadata Mini-Grant is Friday, July 29, 2022, by 5:00 p.m.

“The State Library is thrilled with the successful growth of the Ohio Digital Network, leading to this impressive milestone of more than 300,000 Ohio-based digitized items,” expressed Evan T. Struble, Associate State Librarian for Library Development. “Our dedicated staff have worked hard to raise awareness and support interested libraries and cultural heritage organizations over the years when contributing their content to ODN, including offering training programs and federal LSTA grant support in the form of the Metadata Mini-Grant initiatives.”

Accessible to all, DPLA empowers people to learn, grow, and contribute to a diverse and better-functioning society by maximizing access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge.

ODN is a project of the State Library and paid for in-part with federal IMLS LSTA Grants to States funding

Girls I didn't marry… the suffragette. Circa 1913. Postcard. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.
Girls I didn’t marry… the suffragette. Circa 1913. Postcard. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America. http://hdl.handle.net/1811/bd318cab-f3ef-45c9-bba6-5f2a801e895f. Women’s Suffrage Collection, The Ohio State University, Rare Books and Manuscripts Library.
Students Packing Books for Soldiers. 1950. Photograph. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.
Students Packing Books for Soldiers. 1950. Photograph. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America. https://clevelandmemory.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/shaker-press/id/297. From The Shaker Heights Collection in Cleveland Memory. Contributed by Shaker Heights Library.

ODN Contributing Institutions and Number of Items Accessible Through DPLA 


Links to images:

Photograph of the West Side of High Street
http://www.worthingtonmemory.org/scrapbook/pictures/photograph-west-side-high-street-circa-1850

View of the hammer shop
http://www.alliancememory.org/cdm/ref/collection/places/id/326

Girls I didn’t marry… the suffragette
http://hdl.handle.net/1811/bd318cab-f3ef-45c9-bba6-5f2a801e895f. Women’s Suffrage Collection

Students Packing Books for Soldiers
https://clevelandmemory.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/shaker-press/id/297

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov