Boston Public Library
Press Room

Posts Tagged ‘digitization’

Boston Public Library and Digital Commonwealth Renew Partnership to Digitize State Cultural Treasures

Posted on November 19th, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

flower250 Massachusetts Cultural Institutions represented in Digital Commonwealth

Today Boston Public Library announced its renewed partnership commitment with Digital Commonwealth to maintain and expand Digital, which provides access to digital resources of cultural heritage organizations throughout Massachusetts. Collections in Digital include thousands of images, documents, and sound recordings from member institutions which are openly accessible to researchers, students, and the intellectually curious. Boston Public Library’s development of the Digital Commonwealth repository system provides a means of managing and preserving digital collections to ensure they will be accessible to future generations.

“As part of our statewide responsibilities, we are happy to enter the next phase of our relationship with Digital Commonwealth, partnering to ensure Massachusetts’ shared history and culture are not only preserved but made accessible and discoverable by all,” said Boston Public Library President Interim President David Leonard.  (more…)

DPLA Board of Directors Appoints Amy Ryan as New Chair

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by Gina Perille in General

DPLA_logo_squareThe nine-member Board of Directors of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) announced the appointment of Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library, as its next chair, beginning in July 2015 and effective for two years. Ryan will succeed the current chair, John Palfrey, Head of School at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

As Board chair, Ryan will collaborate with Dan Cohen, DPLA’s Executive Director, and the rest of the Board of Directors to fulfill DPLA’s broad commitment to openness, inclusiveness, and access. 

Read the full announcement from DPLA

Meet Monica Shin, Digital Projects Librarian

Posted on October 10th, 2014 by admin in General

Monica ShinAs a digital projects librarian, Monica identifies and links digital images to information that makes them more searchable in a digital setting, which supports the Access and Innovation principle of the Compass strategic plan that focuses on the library leading in digitization practices. She works to catalog the more than 95,000 images on the BPL’s Flickr site for all users to enjoy.

Do you have a favorite collection on Flickr?

We work with many collections, but I’d say my favorite is a collection by Leslie Jones, which has about 30,000 images. His sports photography from the 1930s and 1940s is amazing, and the collection itself is an archive of life as it was happening during that time period. He also gave many personal photos, which show his family on vacation, for example, and others that are beautifully created from a photography perspective.

What is the best part about working for the library?

I enjoy working with and digitizing older items from our collection that haven’t seen the light of day in a long time; whether they are in the stacks or parts of the library that the general public doesn’t get to see very often. We pull out things that our colleague curators find interesting and then get to expose them to the world, which is awesome. It helps cement the BPL presence as a research library and one that shares its treasures with everyone.

 How do you interact with library users interested in the Flickr collection?

Flickr users can leave comments on pages or email the library with questions or potential corrections to descriptions. Our team acts as the mediator between the library user and our curators, who look into the subject matter closely. We also encourage library users to make recommendations on collections for digitization. The best email to to use is

How does technology and digital offerings enhance service to library users?

Researchers who are interested in certain collections may or may not have the chance to physically come to the library. We recently put up 3,000+ stereographs on Flickr, which could be of great use to someone researching the subject. Showing the digital images with good data really helps people understand the breadth our collections. And, it might persuade people to come in and visit. Having a digital presence is important because the library is so much more than just books; posters, architectural drawings, and manuscripts are just a few examples.

Boston Public Library Serves Historical and Cultural Institutions Across Massachusetts

Posted on August 15th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases

Library for the Commonwealth service increases access to digitization

mapUnder the designation as Library for the Commonwealth, Boston Public Library serves all residents of Massachusetts and offers free resources to public libraries and other historical, cultural, and educational institutions across the state. Since 2011, the library has worked to digitize and preserve collections from 145 organizations in nearly 100 towns across Massachusetts. These digitized items will be shared online via, which is a BPL-built and maintained repository and portal where statewide collections will reside for future generations to discover.

“Massachusetts is a state with a deep and rich history. Our goal with this service is to broadly share Boston’s diverse collections alongside the treasures of other organizations throughout the Commonwealth,” said Amy E. Ryan, President of Boston Public Library. (more…)

Digital Projects Manager Tom Blake Named to Library Journal’s “Movers & Shakers” List

Posted on March 17th, 2014 by admin in General

tomBoston Public Library’s Digital Projects Manager Tom Blake was recently named one of Library Journal’s 2014 ”Movers & Shakers” alongside library industry professionals for their advancement of the field and commitment to their communities.  Blake has steadily grown the library’s Digital Services department since its creation in 2005, which today includes two state-of-the-art digitization studios and a digital repository, complete with the infrastructure and collaborative partnerships necessary to optimize access to its materials. Tom’s profile can be viewed on

The library’s Digital Services department is responsible for digitizing and providing online access to the library’s collections. The work is done at two state-of-the-art digitization labs, using high-end digital cameras and flatbed scanners, in the Central Library in Copley Square. The digitized collections can be found under the “online collections” tab of the BPL home page. The department works to not only increase awareness of and access to collections and materials but also to partner with local communities to help share their stories.