Some of Big Heavy World’s volunteer crew with archive bins of 5,000 cataloged Vermont-made music recordings. Right to left: James Lockridge, Abbey Berger-Knorr, Ross Mickel, and Nico Zachman. Photo by Aaron Cross.
The Green Mountain Digital Archive (VT-GMDA) is a collaborative statewide initiative to bring Vermont’s digital cultural content to a highly visible national platform, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Big Heavy World, with the generous expert support of staff at Middlebury College, recently channeled digital images of approximately 5,000 Vermont-made musical recordings into this national digital collection. The holdings of Big Heavy World’s Vermont Music Library — a large cross-section of Vermont’s music history — is now visible through images and catalog data worldwide.
DPLA is an all-digital nonprofit library that aggregates metadata from libraries, museums, and archives around the country. It is free for public use at https://dp.la/. More than 4,000 institutions in 41 states have contributed more than 30,000,000 digital items. Seven institutions comprise Vermont’s service hub to the DPLA. They include Middlebury College; the Vermont Department of Libraries; St. Michael’s College; Norwich University; the University of Vermont; the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration; and the Vermont Historical Society. Vermont content can be searched at https://vt.dp.la/.
Big Heavy World is a volunteer-staffed music office that promotes and preserves the music of Vermont, inclusive of all genres. James Lockridge, Executive Director, said, “With thanks to Middlebury College and to the collaborative spirit across Vermont that made participation in the DPLA possible, Big Heavy World is grateful to give Vermont’s music this lift into a national spotlight.” Big Heavy World has historically deployed emerging technologies to promote Vermont’s music and actively pursues new opportunities for exposure of the art form. The organization has been collecting Vermont-made music for more than 25 years and is a state-designated Special Library. Big Heavy World volunteer Randy Laba deserves special recognition for the extraordinary number of hours he contributed to cataloguing the Vermont music collection.
Middlebury College was one of the original organizations to cooperatively pilot the VT-GMDA, which was funded with support from the Vermont Department of Libraries via the Federal Library Services and Technology Act. VT-GMDA is one of 34 service hubs that aggregate content to the DPLA from across the nation. Vermont has been participating in the DPLA since 2017. Patrick Wallace, Middlebury Digital Projects & Archives Librarian said, “As a community builder and content coordinator, Middlebury College values the labor that our partners put into cultural preservation. We embrace our responsibility to connect Vermont’s content to a global community and the DPLA’s objective of amplifying the value of libraries and cultural organizations as Americans’ most trusted sources of shared knowledge.”
Big Heavy World is an independent, nonprofit volunteer-run music office serving the state of Vermont. Founded in 1996, it has leveraged a technology-heavy D.I.Y. ethic and inclusive philosophy to support musicians and advance the music sector, preserve Vermont’s music legacy, and empower young adults in an environment that focuses their passions and intellect. The organization was selected by an international jury to receive the 2020 Music Cities ‘Best Global Music Office Award.’ Learn more at bigheavyworld.com.
About Middlebury College: The cornerstone of the institution, the undergraduate college was founded in 1800 and is grounded in the liberal arts. From September until June, the Vermont campus is the exclusive domain of 2,500 undergraduates, who have more than 850 courses in 44 majors to choose from. With an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, Middlebury is a close-knit, residential community, yet one with a global outlook; more than half the junior class chooses to study abroad. Middlebury’s graduates go on to lead enriched and meaningful lives, with education, technology, financial services, and arts, media, and communications among the top career fields for recent grads. Learn more at https://www.middlebury.edu.