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Digital Initiatives: Projects

Digital Initiatives department at the North Dakota State Library

Digital Initiatives Projects

Consult the list below for an overview of the various projects of the Digital Initiatives department at the ND State Library. Click on the heading of each project to be redirected and/or learn more.

Digital Collection Guides

Consult multiple guides for more information on searching, downloading, and browsing the digital collections of the ND State Library.

Digital Horizons

Digital Horizons is an online resource consisting of thousands of images, documents, videos, and oral histories depicting life on the Northern Plains. It is a consortium made up of many different organizations from across the region. The ND State Library is a partner in the Digital Horizons consortium.

Digital Projects Toolkit

This toolkit covers the basics of cultural heritage digitization projects. Each of the sections includes practical tools, guidelines, examples, and resources for more in-depth learning.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a free, national digital library that provides a single point of access to cultural heritage materials (millions of images, videos, texts, sounds, etc.) from more than 4,000 libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. The ND State Library joined DPLA in 2018 via a partnership with the Big Sky Country Digital Network (BSCDN) in Montana. This partnership included the Montana State Library, Montana Historical Society, Montana State University, the University of Montana, and the North Dakota State Library.

Although many items are still accessible on DPLA, the BSCDN decided not to renew its membership in 2022.


Online exhibits exploring various aspects of North Dakota History. The exhibits feature content and information from the digital collections of the North Dakota State Library.


Online maps featuring content from the digital collections of the North Dakota State Library. These maps provide a different perspective and an interactive way to browse for content.

North Dakota Photographers Index

The North Dakota Photographers Index draws on many sources to provide historical information about professional/ commercial photographers and studios in North Dakota. The index is in alphabetical order by the last name (or surname) of the photographer. In some cases, a studio name is listed. The index also provides the location and dates of operation of the photographer or studio (if this information is known). For the dates of operation, many are estimations. The most complete data in the index includes photographers and studios from the 1880s to the 1920s.

The index is likely missing many photographers, and not every photographer or studio has complete information. As a result, this index will be an ongoing project. If you have any additional information that can help update this index, please contact Digital Initiatives.


Jigsaw Planet is a website that allows contributors to upload and create jigsaw puzzles from their images. Digital Initiatives has added several images from the digital collections of the North Dakota State Library to its Jigsaw Planet account. These virtual puzzles can be played by anyone from anywhere. It is completely free and no account is needed.

Take a brain break and give one of the puzzles a try!



  • Digital Initiatives works with libraries to organize and implement ScanDay events across the state. ScanDay is an event hosted with or in libraries (public, academic, school, special, etc.), in which Digital Initiatives staff bring scanning and photography equipment to a community and digitize photographs, documents, objects, etc. from the collections of local institutions and private citizens. After digitization, the items are returned and each participant is given a flash drive containing digital copies of their items. The donated digital items are then uploaded to the ND State Library's digital collections for research and educational purposes.
  • Digital Initiatives also offers resources and guidance to libraries, institutions, state agencies, etc. that want to plan and host a ScanDay on their own.

ScanDay for State Employees

  • Digital Initiatives offers a ScanDay specifically for state employees who want to contribute items from their personal collections to the digital collections of the ND State Library.
  • This is an ongoing service, instead of the typical one-and-done ScanDay event.

Virtual ScanDay

  • The Virtual ScanDay program was started during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for citizens and organizations to contribute digital copies of their items to the North Dakota Memories collection. It was later made into an ongoing program/ service. Through Virtual ScanDay, digital items can be submitted to the ND State Library for inclusion in its digital collections from anywhere by anyone (even if you do not live in the state anymore).


The ND State Library needs you! Digital Initiatives has several projects that require the assistance of virtual volunteers. Help us improve our digital collections by making them more accessible and searchable.

Wikipedia/ Wikimedia Commons

Digital Initiatives will occasionally contribute content in the public domain or without copyright restrictions to Wikimedia Commons from its digital collections. The uploaded items will then be inserted into applicable Wikipedia articles. The goal of this project is to boost access and discoverability of the ND State Library's digital collections.

IMLS logo

Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.