dLOC: A Multi-Institutional, International Digital Library

Invitation for partner institutions to join dLOC.

In 2019 the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) celebrates its fifteenth anniversary. From nine founding partners, dLOC has grown to over sixty partners in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Central and South America, and Europe. Please read about dLOC and its mission below, visit the dLOC StoryMap highlighting our partners. 

The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative of partners within the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean that provides 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 Digital Library of the Caribbean’s (dLOC) diverse partners serve an international community of scholars, students, and peoples by working together to preserve and to provide enhanced electronic access to cultural, historical, legal, governmental, and research materials in a common web space with a multilingual interface. dLOC's partners collaborate with scholars and teachers for promoting and performing educational outreach on Caribbean Studies, developing new works of digital scholarship, and pursuing other research and teaching initiatives.

The amount of open access content available through dLOC surpasses many commercial Caribbean collections and includes newspapers, official documents, ecological and economic data, maps, histories, travel accounts, literature, poetry, musical expressions, and artifacts. dLOC now provides access to 2.6 million pages of content related to the Caribbean and has registered a cumulative total of 96 million page views.

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 continues 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).

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 are on the Partners Page, all of whom are currently digitizing content to be hosted in dLOC.

Institutions are eligible to join the organization based on the following criteria:

  1. Willingness to contribute collections and to make these freely available to the project.
  2. Availability of appropriate collections with Caribbean content.
  3. Willingness to comply with common standards.
  4. Willingness to designate a representative to manage local participation.

Partners in the project may :

  1. Contribute digital content to dLOC's centralized repository via FTP or another form of web transmission.
  2. "Snail mail" dLOC hard disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or other digital media containing items for submission.
  3. 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 Invitation for partner institutions to join dLOC (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).


Current and ongoing funding for dLOC is contributed directly and in-kind from dLOC Partners, dLOC Members, granting agencies for specific projects, and other sources. Early funding for dLOC was made available by dLOC Partners and in part by generous grants from the United States Department of Education's Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access (TICFIA) Program from 2004-2011. dLOC has successfully moved from project to program for ongoing sustainability. For new projects and activities. dLOC encourages and supports partners pursuing potential funding.  See completed Grant Proposals for reference. >>

Publications Utilizing Resources in dLOC & Publications about dLOC

See list of publications about and heavily utilizing dLOC: http://dloc.com/l/AA00048003/00001


Further Information

See the Governance and Bylaws, and FAQ pages for more information.