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Portal to Texas History named first service hub in the southwest

The Portal to Texas History, administered by UNT Libraries to provide access to more than 385,000 digitized books, photographs, maps, newspapers, letters and other historic materials, has been named a Service Hub by the Digital Public Library of America.

The DPLA Service Hubs are state or regional digital libraries that aggregate information about digital objects from libraries, archives, museums and other cultural heritage institutions within their given state or region. Each Service Hub offers its state or regional partners a full menu of standardized digital services, including digitization, metadata, data aggregation and storage services, as well as locally hosted community outreach programs, bringing users in contact with digital content of local relevance.

The UNT Libraries received an award of $99,767 from DPLA to support the portal, with the award expiring March 31, 2015.

Created in 2002 by the UNT Libraries’ Digital Projects Unit, the portal provides online access to items from more than 250 partners — archives, historical societies, small and large libraries, museums and private collections from all areas of Texas.

With more than 4.1 million pages of materials, the portal includes many primary source historical materials, such as diaries and personal accounts of events and daily life. Browsers of the portal use these materials to learn history from the perspectives of those who lived it.  

The portal also includes a Resources for Educators section, which provides history lessons for elementary and middle school students that are compliant with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards, as well as downloadable Texas History Trading Cards.

Other Service Hubs are located in Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York and North and South Carolina. The portal is the first Service Hub in the Southwest and the sixth largest contributor of content to DPLA. The portal’s notable collections include more than 1.5 million pages from 19th- and 20th-century newspapers for the Texas Digital Newspaper Program; the University of Texas at Arlington’s collection of historical Texas maps, dating from 1493; and the Dallas Police Department’s materials for the investigation of the Kennedy assassination.   

The recognition from DPLA is one of several received by the portal during the past decade. In 2013, the portal received the Texas Library Association’s Wayne Williams Library Project of the Year Award, which is given to a project that exemplifies the highest levels of achievement, professional standards and inspiration to other libraries. And in 2008, the portal was chosen as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

- Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions

Posted on: Mon 09 June 2014

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