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Florida State University Libraries, Florida International University and University of Miami launch the Sunshine State Digital Network.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

FSU Libraries enhances its reputation and role in cultural heritage access and preservation across the state of Florida and the globe.

Florida State University Libraries and their partners are pleased to announce the launch of the Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN). The SSDN is part of the Digital Public Library of America and FSU is proud to be the service hub for the state of Florida. The service hub represents a community of institutions in the state which will provide their partner institutions aggregated metadata for the DPLA and offer tiered services to connect institutions of all sizes to DPLA.


The DPLA is an ever-growing national network of libraries, archives, museums, cultural heritage institutions, and volunteers that set out to provide a local impact in its communities, strengthened by a global reach. It is a free service, offering access to over 17 million items from around the globe. DPLA Network Manager Kelcy Shepherd says, “We're so excited to welcome Sunshine State Digital Network to DPLA, and to share Florida's rich digital content alongside content of our other Hubs. We appreciate SSDN's commitment to broadly sharing cultural heritage content with the public and to participating in the DPLA network."

The SSDN operates on a multi-tiered hub system consisting of a main hub and regional sub-hubs. The main service hub is located at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. The sub-hub is located in Miami, FL with responsibilities shared among the University of Miami (UM) and Florida International University (FIU).

While partnering with UM and FIU, the network will provide digital access to over 72,000 cultural heritage materials from across the state of Florida. FSU will manage all administrative aspects of the network, serve as the financial center, and submit the state’s aggregated metadata to DPLA. By submitting metadata to DPLA, it will increase the discoverability and use of our culturally rich and diverse digital collections while allowing individuals to use materials creatively, enhance their research and learning, develop new resources for teaching and discovery, and foster interdisciplinary inquiry.

Julia Zimmerman, Dean of the FSU Libraries adds, “By selecting the FSU Libraries as its Florida hub, DPLA has acknowledged FSU’s leadership in creating a robust digital library program that will work with Florida’s many libraries, museums and other cultural organizations, both large and small to create and preserve digital assets. It’s a privilege to be a part of DPLA and to participate in preserving and showcasing our state’s rich heritage.”

Together with FIU, UM, University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Florida, University of South Florida, New College, Florida Virtual Campus, and the State Library it took three years to submit an application for a service hub in Florida. Since the application was accepted last fall, the implementation team has focused on developing infrastructure, selecting content, updating and correcting metadata, and aggregating that metadata from the founding partners.

Amy Johnson, State Librarian and Director of the Division of Library and Information Services affirms the statewide support and collaborative efforts from partners by adding that her division “is proud to support the Sunshine State Digital Network. This project, Florida’s hub of the Digital Public Library of America, allows the state’s libraries, archives, museums and research institutions to share their digital collections with a nationwide audience. By participating in this collaborative project, Florida’s digitized cultural heritage will be available to anyone, anywhere through a single access point. Access to Florida’s cultural collections will allow greater support for learning, research, tourism, business and other endeavors.”

There are several ways to can also get involved with the network for employees of Florida libraries, archives, museums, or cultural heritage organizations: attend an upcoming workshop, volunteer to serve on a working group for metadata, training, or outreach; help shape documentation, form partnerships across different types of Florida libraries, museums, and universities; and develop the training materials that will help others prepare their metadata for inclusion and learn best practices for digital libraries. Visit to learn more. 

The contributed items can be found at To view the library via a standard search box, search the map or timeline, view books on the bookshelf, dive into curated exhibitions on topics of national interest, and browse through a range of applications built on top of DPLA.

For more information, contact: Keila Zayas-Ruiz, Sunshine State Digital Network Coordinator at

About The Florida State University Libraries

The mission of the University Libraries is to support and enhance the learning, teaching, research, and service activities of the Florida State University...