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About

The Digital Library of Tennessee provides free access to unique materials from museums, libraries, and archives across the state. Visit the Digital Library of Tennessee to explore thousands of primary source formats, including maps, musical performances, photographs, newspapers, postcards, and oral histories from around the state.

The Digital Library of Tennessee is a DPLA Service Hub governed by Tenn-Share with support from the University of Tennessee and Tennessee State Library and Archives. At this time, the Digital Library of Tennessee (DLTN) does not digitize or host digital objects for partner repositories, rather, DLTN works with partner repositories to harvest metadata and thumbnails through the Open Archives Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The DLTN will not harvest scholarly communications, including journal articles, book chapters, and electronic theses and dissertations or finding aids for inclusion in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

Volunteer Voices was a cooperative digitization project and federated search engine that aimed to bring together the state of Tennessee’s digital cultural heritage resources. At the September 24, 2014 meeting, the Tenn-Share Board of Directors approved the change in the name of the committee from Volunteer Voices to the Digital Library of Tennessee to better describe the efforts of the group.

If you are interested in contributing your repository’s digital cultural heritage resources to DLTN, please click the button below.

New Partner Application

Governance

DLTN is governed by the Tenn-Share Digital Library of Tennessee Committee, comprised of the following members:

  • Meredith Hale, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Chair
  • Noah Lasley, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Ken Middleton, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Aimee Saunders, Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Sofiya Dahman, University of Memphis
  • Ari Baker, Tenn-Share (Ex-officio)

Partners

The Digital Library of Tennessee (DLTN) succeeds because of the collaboration between the committee and its many partners. The following repositories have successfully contributed their digital cultural heritage content to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) by partnering with DLTN.

Responsibilities

Partnership with institutions and repositories that have a digital repository of cultural heritage materials accessible through the Open Archives Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is preferred. The University of Tennessee in collaboration with Tenn-Share will provide guidance in harvesting and aggregating metadata for inclusion in DPLA. Partner repositories must provide an OAI-PMH base URL to harvest and aggregate cultural heritage materials. The DLTN will only harvest and aggregate digital objects that are clearly in the public domain, or for which permission from the current rights holder has been granted. It is the responsibility of the partner repository to determine whether or not materials are still under copyright protection and to seek any necessary permissions.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries is responsible for harvesting and aggregating metadata records and image thumbnails from participating institutions. While there is no charge for these services, there is a limit on how much work the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries can provide to any single institution. Nonetheless, the Libraries will transform partner institution Dublin Core records to OAI-MODS and provide metadata remediation, mapping information, and suggestions to partner institutions for metadata enhancement.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives, as a participating content provider to DLTN, will also provide outreach across the state, particularly to small and mid-sized institutions. This outreach will include community building and DLTN advocacy, training, and metadata workshops, and support for grassroots digitization projects in an effort to empower Tennessee organizations to participate in a sustainable statewide digital library.

Metadata

The Digital Library of Tennessee (DLTN) does not check metadata for accuracy or consistency, however, failure to follow best practices may result in poor harvest, aggregation, and display of resources in the DPLA user interface. For guidance in creating good metadata, see our Metadata Application Profile. You may also use our mapping worksheet to help plan new description projects or map your existing metadata to DLTN standards.

It is the responsibility of the contributing institution to provide the following information for all materials submitted for inclusion in the DLTN and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA):

  • title
  • rights
  • identifier*
  • thumbnail**

*Refers a link back to the metadata record in your local context. Most content management systems generate these identifiers automatically.

**Must provide a means of programmatically linking to a thumbnail of the digital object. Most content management systems provide a way to systematically link to thumbnails.

In addition to the required elements listed above, DLTN strongly encourages use of the following fields when available:

  • creator
  • date
  • subject
  • spatial coverage
  • type
  • format

According to the DPLA Policy Statement on Metadata, participating repositories must dedicate metadata about digital objects to the public pursuant to the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Compliance

The DLTN determines each repository’s compliance with DPLA metadata standards and makes recommendations about how partners may improve their metadata to meeting minimum requirements and improve discoverability. To accomplish this, the DLTN uses Python scripts developed by Christina Harlow, former Cataloging & Metadata Librarian at the University of Tennessee.

Potentially Harmful Language and Content

The DLTN acknowledges that some of the resources and metadata we share may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. Users of our collections are encouraged to report these materials to help us improve our collections. Harmful content includes resources that are difficult to view as well as descriptions that are biased or insensitive. When reported, the Digital Library of Tennessee (DLTN) will forward your concern to the institution(s) that are responsible for making the content available through DLTN. It is up to each individual institution to determine how they will address the reported issue. Institutions weigh potential harm against considerations such as accurate preservation of the historical record, professional best practices, and allocation of scarce resources. Read the committee’s full statement here.

Copyright and Licensing

The Digital Library of Tennessee will only publish online materials that are clearly in the public domain, or for which permission from the current rights holder has been granted. It is the responsibility of the contributing institution to determine whether or not materials are still under copyright protection and to seek any necessary permissions. Each contributing institution may reserve all rights to the materials that the Digital Library of Tennessee makes available in DPLA.

By participating in the Digital Library of Tennessee, your institution agrees to specify digital materials to be included in the Digital Public Library of America, and to dedicate metadata about these materials to the public pursuant to Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Become a Partner!

If you are interested in contributing your repository’s digital cultural heritage resources to DPLA, please complete our New Partner Repository Ingest Form. If you have questions or feedback, view our FAQ or contact us. To receive updates and communicate with the DLTN committee and partners, join our Google Group.