The CDL coordinated a multi-year initiative (2016-2020), with generous support from the California State Library, to aggregate and provide even more comprehensive access to unique digital resources from cultural heritage organizations throughout the state.
“Harvesting California’s Bounty” was an initiative supported by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered in California by the State Librarian.
The goal of the multi-year initiative was to bring together digital collections that are otherwise dispersed across a range of library, archive, and museum systems. Although these collections are available online through local websites, they may not be readily discoverable. Through harvesting, aggregating, and displaying the collections on Calisphere and the Digital Public Library of America websites (DPLA), the CDL has provided additional visibility for the collections. Given that a number of them were created with the support of LSTA funding, it is all the more important that they remain publicly available, findable, and usable for the long term.
With another year of grant support (October 2019-September 2020), we had additional staffing capacity to focus on harvesting a broader array of collections from organizations in California -- with an emphasis on working with public libraries and coordinating workflows with California Revealed, a statewide program managed by the California State Library. We also expanded our work to explore harvesting of web archive collections, a new format and content area that complements related resources stewarded by our contributors. The results of our exploration are summarized in our report "Recommendations for Harvesting Web Archives into Calisphere" (September 2020).
We also reprised our "Better Sharing Through Metadata" workshop in a free online format, hosted by Infopeople.
Last, we developed plans to promote broader awareness of Calisphere as a free statewide aggregation and service to public libraries throughout the state, starting with a video tutorial series to be released in fall 2020 -- as well as through deeper engagement with public libraries via venues such as the California Library Association.
The results of the previous project phases have been dramatic: LSTA funding directly enabled the massive growth in collections now represented in Calisphere. In 2018, the corpus grew to over 1 million items -- a significant milestone. In 2019, we are projected to double that size, providing access to 2 million items. Thanks to this significant growth, California libraries, archives, and museums now represent one of the largest subsets of DPLA’s national-level aggregation, offering students, researchers, and the general public increasingly comprehensive access to the digitized treasures and special collections across the state.