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Northwest Digital Heritage Celebrates one year of Increasing Access to Oregon and Washington’s Digital Collections

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Salem, OR – Northwest Digital Heritage, a collaboration between the Oregon Heritage Commission, State Library of Oregon, and Washington State Library, is celebrating a year since it’s launch in May of 2021. 

Northwest Digital Heritage is a collaborative, regional effort to help support and increase access to digital collections from libraries and cultural heritage institutions throughout Oregon and Washington. Since its official launch in late May 2021 – and despite a myriad of challenges during the pandemic – the project has met some significant milestones during its initial year, including: 

  • Over 190,000 digital item records from Oregon and Washington-based collections now available via the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)’s Northwest Digital Heritage (NWDH) hub 
  • Collections from 115 different libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage organizations represented 
  • An advisory group from contributing institutions formed to help identify potential access points for collections  
  • Ongoing outreach to other organizations to pull future collections into Northwest Digital Heritage 

Over the next two years, the project plans to bring even more organizations and collections across the Northwest region into the fold, and both the Oregon Heritage Commission and the State Library of Oregon are very excited to bring new funding opportunities, a centralized digital repository, and in-person digitization support to Oregon libraries and organizations. 

The project partners are especially looking forward to finding tools and pathways for small heritage organizations to participate and increase access to the unique collections across the region. The Oregon Heritage Commission’s role in this partnership is to serve as a liaison with small heritage organizations, including museum, libraries, genealogical societies, etc. in Oregon and provide grants, technical assistance, and solutions for getting their cultural heritage materials digitized and accessible online. This is a key project of the Oregon Heritage Commission as it addresses all four goals of the 2020-2025 Oregon Heritage Plan.

The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine people representing Oregon’s heritage and geographical diversity who have been appointed by the Governor. There are nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. The mission of the Oregon Heritage Commission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon’s heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity. For more information visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact coordinator Katie Henry at (503) 877-8834 or katie.henry@oprd.oregon.gov

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