There are lots and lots of institutions providing digitized materials, but who has the time to find them? Well, here’s a one-stop discovery tool!
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) provides free access to the digitized riches of libraries, archives, and museums across the country. Materials that may be browsed or searched include photographs, diaries, letters, maps, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more. Be aware, though, that not all of these materials are in the public domain; check the “Rights” for items you plan to use, or go to the content providers’ sites to determine the rights status of items. Even though access is free to all users, there is a cost to the creation and maintenance of a discovery resource like this. The DPLA is funded by foundations and federal government agencies, and other organizations and interested individuals. There also is a network of partners providing “service hubs” (such as the Minnesota Digital Library) or “content hubs” (such as the Smithsonian Institution).
For example, you can listen to oral histories, including an interview with Clair Dagget, who received a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Education from Whitewater in 1931 and later taught at St. Cloud State University (MN), and an interview with Charles Graham (1929- ), who served at Wisconsin State College at Whitewater as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and later served as president of St. Cloud State University.
Or, view hand colored lithographed maps showing tracts and block numbers of Elkhorn, Geneva, and Whitewater (WI) from a historical atlas of Wisconsin (1878).
Or, read diaries such as that of Charles E. Ripley, Color Sergeant, 21st Wisconsin. His 1864 diary “covers events like the capture of Atlanta and Sherman’s March to the Sea.”
Enjoy. Please ask a librarian if you’d appreciate some assistance with using this tool.
Andersen Library is a federal and Wisconsin depository library with federal and state government documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in various formats (print, DVD/CD-ROM, online). Check out your government at Andersen Library!