Big Sky Country Digital Network (BSCDN) is a partnership between Montana and North Dakota. Specifically, it is a partnership of the Montana State Library, Montana Historical Society, Montana State University, University of Montana, and the North Dakota State Library. This partnership supports a local service hub of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
BSCDN collects information about Montana and North Dakota digital resources and submits this information to the DPLA where it is exhibited alongside nation-wide digital resources. Newspapers, images, books, and digital collections are presented on one platform with worldwide availability.
DPLA is an online repository that connects people to the hidden riches held within libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. DPLA is a one-stop-shop that allows you to instantly and easily search hundreds of separate digital collections, containing millions of items, from across the country. DPLA has a user-friendly website that can be utilized for education, genealogy, lifelong learning, and scholarly research.
On DPLA, you can do a general search to access items or you can browse topics, partners, or exhibitions. DPLA has guides to help you get started and to get the most out of their robust website. DPLA also has a Primary Source Sets resource on its website which is specifically catered to educators and students – complete with teaching guides for use in the classroom.
Partners contributing to DPLA include the National Archives and Records Administration, Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, Library of Congress, Internet Archive, Harvard, and the Minnesota Digital Library – which includes the Minnesota Historical Society, University of Minnesota, and South Dakota State University.
North Dakota Joins DPLA
The North Dakota State Library (NDSL) has joined DPLA, through a partnership with the BSCDN consortium in Montana. NDSL’s digital collections (containing hundreds of photographs, books, atlases, objects, videos, newsletters, state documents, etc.) are available on DPLA via the Big Sky County Digital Network hub. It was much more efficient and cost-effective for North Dakota to join an existing DPLA hub instead of starting a new one from scratch. The BSCDN hub contains over 85,000 items from Montana and North Dakota.
Joining DPLA (an open invitation)
Through this partnership, NDSL has paved the way for other North Dakota institutions to join (and is highly encouraging them to do so). If your institution is interested in contributing its digital collections to DPLA, contact Digital Initiatives.
Benefits of Joining DPLA
[A PDF version of the image below can be downloaded by clicking here: Benefits_of_Joining_DPLA]