Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC)
A Multi-Institutional, International Digital Library
The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative of partners within the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean that will provide users with access to Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials held in archives, libraries, and private collections. dLOC comprises collections that speak to the similarities and differences in histories, cultures, languages and governmental systems. Types of collections include but are not limited to: newspapers, archives of Caribbean leaders and governments, official documents, documentation and numeric data for ecosystems, scientific scholarship, historic and contemporary maps, oral and popular histories, travel accounts, literature and poetry, musical expressions, and artifacts.
The founding partners - Archives Nationale d'Haïti; Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM); National Library of Jamaica; La Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE); Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela; University of the Virgin Islands; Florida International University; University of Central Florida; University of Florida - officially established the Digital Library of the Caribbean on 17 July 2004 at a Planning Committee at a meeting held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Development and planning leading to up to the meeting included many prior cooperative projects for preservation and access. The Planning Committee for dLOC sought to leverage new technologies in service to those ongoing needs, yet with an expanded vision of what preservation and access could mean. dLOC partners applied for and were awarded a TICFIA grant for 2005-2009 (grant proposal online). With this grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education, along with cost share from the partner institutions, dLOC developed the technical infrastructure, training materials and network of active partners that have collaboratively built this resource. With continued institutional support and outside funding through grants and donations, the Digital Library of the Caribbean will continue to support its goals of ensuring digital preservation of Caribbean materials and providing increased access.
Administered by Florida International University (FIU) in partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) and the University of Florida (UF), dLOC's technical infrastructure is provided by the University of Florida (UF) in association with the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA).
dLOC's multi-institutional collaborative model is bolstered by a democratic governance structure which allows for all partner institutions to contribute to dLOC's evolution and success.
Working Across Borders
dLOC is comprised of educational, research, governmental and non-governmental institutions aligned for the purpose of facilitating efficient access to electronic collections about the Caribbean. As such, membership in dLOC is open to archives, libraries, and museums; associations, organizations, and research centers; and publishers.
Current partners include the Archives nationales d'Haïti (ANH), Biblioteca Nacional Aruba (BNA), Bibliothèque Haïtienne des Pères du Saint-Esprit (BHPSE), Bibliothèque Nationale d'Haïti (BNH), Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS), Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), The College of The Bahamas (COB), the Fundaciòn Global Desarollo y Democracia (FUNGLODE), the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ), Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), the Universidad de Oriente (UDO) in Venezuela, the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), Florida International University (FIU), the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF), all of whom are currently digitizing content to be hosted in dLOC.
Institutions are eligible to join the organization based on the following criteria:
- Willingness to contribute collections and to make these freely available to the project.
- Availability of appropriate collections with Caribbean content.
- Willingness to comply with common standards.
- Willingness to designate a representative to manage local participation.
Partners in the project may :
- Contribute digital content to dLOC's centralized repository via FTP or another form of web transmission.
- "Snail mail" dLOC hard disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or other digital media containing items for submission.
- Make their digital collections available to dLOC in compliance with the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).
dLOC, however, does not make any claim to ownership of the materials it hosts and serves in its collection. All project partners are responsible for copyright control of their own submitted content. For more information on eligibility requirements for partnership and conditions of membership in dLOC, please see our New Member Application (in .pdf format).
Acquisition of Content
While some dLOC content was "born digital," its holdings are primarily made up of items digitized on-site by partner institutions. In many cases, dLOC has been able to collaborate with partners to acquire funding both for state-of-the-art digitization equipment and on-site training from its expert staff. dLOC also accepts partnerships from institutions willing to increase access to their collections using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).
Funding for dLOC was made available in part by a generous grant from the United States Department of Education's Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access (TICFIA) Program from 2004-2009. Current funding is contributed directly and in-kind from dLOC Member Institutions, the TICFIA Program for dLOC's new project the Caribbean Newspaper Digital Library, and the US Embassy in Haiti. dLOC is awaiting notification of a grant recently submitted to the Elsevier Foundation, and additional proposals are in planning and development.
dLOC encourages current and prospective partners to collaborate with us on pursuing new avenues of potential funding. Completed proposals for reference include:
- Electronic Access for Library Patrons in Haiti and Abroad (Elsevier Foundation, 2009 submitted and awaiting notification)
- Caribbean Newspaper Digital Library (TICFIA, 2009-2013)
- Digitization of Haitian and Kreyòl Resources (US Embassy in Haiti, 2009)
- Digital Library of the Caribbean: Crossing Borders (TICFIA, 2005-9)
- Sea of faces : peoples and cultures of the Caribbean, 1400-200, an exhibition at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida (collaborative agreement, 2006)
- Cuban Protocolos Notariales, 1578-1900: Preserving and Disseminating the Keys to Spain's New World (awaiting identification of funding source)
- Caribbean Newspaper Imaging Project (CNIP) Converting and distributing indexed and abstracted digital images of microfilmed Caribbean newspapers (Mellon, 1994)