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The Louisiana Digital Library (LDL) is an online platform for libraries, museums, archives, and historical organizations across the state. The books, manuscripts, oral histories, maps, and photographs held in the LDL showcase the cultural resources of Louisiana. The interface enables users to discover materials through search and browse, and to view and interact with these materials. The metadata about these items is also a great asset. When explored in their entirety, the data held in the LDL is as valuable as the digital facsimiles. The LDL may be conceptualized as a data hub, a place to gather and share the metadata of the participating institutions. Open data is a growing trend in archives and special collections, enabling new types of interactions with collection material. Exposing the data held in digital libraries, in ways that extend beyond traditional digital library discovery and access, opens pathways for researchers to investigate complex questions. This paper contextualizes the field of open data in historical institutions, and explores uses for downloaded metadata from the LDL.

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Codex: the Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL

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