Digital Collections

America’s vast libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions have contributed to the Digital Public Library of America. All of the materials (over 30 million) found through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free online and immediately available in digital format.

You can start with the Topics in the collection. Click on a specific topic and there are several sub-topics to explore. There is a search box in the upper right to narrow down your search.

One of the favorite topics here relates to the American Civil War. Not just soldier, battles but also the Homefront (children and ladies and the hometowns).

The Photography topic covers a wide range of photos, the times and types of camera and film.

See what is in the Special Exhibitions section. Again many categories here plus a search box.

An example of the Special Exhibitions is about the shoemaking industry in Massachusetts. Since my grandfather worked for a shoe factory in Haverhill and Lynn, Massachusetts it was of special interest. You learn in the 1800s, Massachusetts revolutionized the shoemaking industry, making shoes available to consumers nationwide in unprecedented numbers.

It became the heart of the nation’s shoemaking industry by attracting and retaining skilled shoemakers and shoe machinery engineers, especially from England. 

So quite a collection that is worth exploring.  

Photos: Inside a shoemaking factory in 1920 in Haverhill, MA; 1861 Woodcut of an office of a Soldiers’ Aid Office during the Civil War from Wisconsin; and an 1888 Kodak camera loaded with film that sold for $25.

Related Blogs:

Digital Documents

State Archives

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.