Ohio Digital Network brings Ohio to DPLA

Mar 5, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 5, 2018) – OhioLINK is pleased to announce that more than 50,000 new materials from the Ohio Digital Network are now discoverable in Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Led by the State Library of Ohio and in partnership with OhioLINK, the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), and the Ohio History Connection, the Ohio Digital Network builds on strong digital collection efforts across the state, including extensive digital collections at OhioLINK member institutions, Ohio Memory, and the Ohio Digitization Hubs project.

Gwen Evans, OhioLINK Executive Director 

“OhioLINK and its member libraries are extremely pleased to participate in the initial launch of the Ohio Digital Network collections in the DPLA,” said Gwen Evans, executive director of OhioLINK. “Ohio has a long history of collaboration among its library and cultural heritage organizations. The breadth of digital collections contributed by our partners in Ohio and the connections between those collections make the whole much more than the sum of its parts.”

DPLA is designed to connect people to the wealth of content in America’s libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage institutions. Those who visit the DPLA site have immediate access to a treasure trove of photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and more, all in one site in digital format for free.

The initial launch of the Ohio Digital Network includes collections from 11 Ohio libraries and cultural institutions. As a part of DPLA, students and teachers, researchers, and history buffs can now explore all of these rich collections from across the state in one place alongside millions of resources from the growing DPLA network of partners.

The Ohio Digital Network collections can be seen as a whole by searching for Ohio Digital Network at https://dp.la/. The collections shared by members of the Ohio Digital Network represent stories that are both unique to Ohioans and part of our shared national story. Materials such as wartime propaganda posters and oral histories about the May 4, 1970 Kent State University shooting shed light on turning point moments in 20th century history. Collections on Latino-American experiences in rural Knox County and on Ohio’s LGBT communities represent the lives, work, and relationships of local Ohioans, and ensure that the stories, voices, and experiences of these communities are captured as part of our national heritage. Ohio Digital Network also brings unique materials for gaming (old school, that is) and ornithology enthusiasts, too — the history of chess and checkers collection and John James Audubon’s beautiful bird illustrations are not to be missed.

Some highlights of OhioLINK member collections in the initial launch:

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed college students at Kent State University protesting the Vietnam War, killing four and injuring nine. The Kent State Shootings Oral History collection features more than 125 interviews with former students, professors, law enforcement officers, local residents, and others about the experience  and impact of the shootings. Randy Gardner, a student at Kent State and eyewitness to the shootings, recalls his sense of shock as the shooting began:

“They got to the top of that rise, and they just kind of in unison turned around and just started shooting. And it was just — it was like you never gave thought to what's in their guns. Did they really have bullets? We didn't know. I don't think we gave it that much thought. I don't know why we didn't. But it was like disbelief that they were shooting — the shock, everything, you know. But when somebody's pointing a rifle at you and shooting, it's no time to ask questions.”




Kenyon College’s Latinos in Rural America (LiRA) collection captures the stories of Latino-American residents of Knox County, Ohio. Through oral history interviews, photographs, and a bilingual exhibit, the project documents the lives, aspirations, and cultural identities of Latino Americans from different stages of life and socioeconomic backgrounds. José Ávalos, pictured here in his restaurant in Mount Vernon, Ohio, emigrated from Mexico and discusses his efforts to ensure that his children feel connected to their Mexican heritage.





The University of Toledo Libraries Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections has photos, operating manuals and other artifacts from the history of the Jeep in Toledo.






Bowling Green State University Libraries Sheet Music Collection includes After To-Night (words and music by Louis Herscher and Henry B. Friedman) circa 1920.


“The State Library of Ohio is very proud to have led the Ohio Digital Network to this important point.  We are very appreciative of the tremendous amount of work done by the many dedicated people in our partner institutions across the state,” State Librarian Beverly Cain said.  “We look forward to working with them, and with our partners at DPLA, to continue developing Ohio's contributions to this culturally and historically significant collection of resources.”
The Ohio Digital Network will continue to work with libraries, archives, and cultural heritage organizations to grow Ohio content in DPLA. Additional collections from the original 11 participating institutions, as well as collections from other institutions, will be added over time. 

The work of Ohio Digital Network is generously supported in part by LSTA funds awarded to the State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Ohio Public Library Network (OPLIN).

More items from the initial OhioLINK institutions

Bowling Green State University Libraries

Kent State University Libraries

Kenyon College Libraries

University of Toledo Libraries

State Library of Ohio


Established in 1992, the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) is Ohio’s statewide academic library consortium and serves more than 600,000 end users, with 120 libraries as full members. These libraries are distributed among 92 different Ohio colleges and universities. OhioLINK membership includes the State Library of Ohio, 16 public university libraries, 51 independent college libraries, 23 two-year college libraries, 16 regional campus libraries, eight law school libraries and five medical school libraries. A member of the Ohio Technology Consortium of the Ohio Department of Higher EducationOhioLINK provides a competitive advantage for Ohio’s higher education community by cooperatively and cost-effectively acquiring, providing access to, and preserving an expanding array of print and digital resources, and by centrally hosting digital content.