Diversity of cultural heritage items: We can do better

We have done some good

Our colleagues at the Digital Public Library of America reviewed harvesting statistics from 2014 in a recent post, “Tracking DPLA’s growth in 2014.” 

See full-sized graph.

Of the hubs serving up metadata to the DPLA, the Mountain West Digital Library had the largest number of cultural heritage materials about diverse groups in America (see graph). With over 30,000 items from MWDL representing America’s underrepresented groups, we can be proud to be reflecting some of the diversity of our region and its history. Thanks to our many collection partners who are building these collections and sharing them with MWDL and DPLA.

We can do better

With access to almost 1 million items in MWDL, however, the number of items about diverse groups ought to be much higher. Do you have collections of photographs, diaries, films, oral histories, books, and artifacts from any of these groups in the Mountain West? If so, we encourage you to work with one of our partners — a library, museum, or archive in any of the six states of the region — to digitize and share unique perspectives of our history, from all our region’s citizens, including these groups identified in the DPLA review:

  • historically non-white racial and ethnic groups
  • cultural/religious minority groups (Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc.)
  • women
  • LGBTQ communities
  • disabled communities (including the physically, sensorily, and developmentally disabled)
  • rural communities
  • populations with lower socioeconomic status (focusing on poverty, working class issues, labor issues)
  • elderly populations

Let’s keep working together to reflect the full history and heritage of the Mountain West.

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