Last week we launched what we think is a useful and appealing way to browse books at scale, timed to coincide with the launch of the Digital Public Library of America. (Congrats, DPLA!!!)

StackLife DPLA (a version of what we use to call ShelfLife) shows you a visualization of books on a scrollable shelf, which we turn sideways so you can read the spines. It always shows you books in a context, on the grounds that no book stands alone. You can shift the context instantly, so that you can (for example) see a work on a shelf with all the other books classified under any of the categories professional cataloguers have assigned to it.

We also heatmap the books according to various usage metrics (“StackScore”), so you can get a sense of the work’s community relevance.

There are lots more features, and lots more to come.

StackLife DPLA is an intersecting set of functionality with StackLife Harvard we’ll be releasing the Harvard version this week. The DPLA version mashes up the books in the Digital Public Library of America’s collection (from the Biodiversity Heritage Library) with books from The Internet Archive‘s Open Library and the Hathi Trust. These are all online, accessible books, so you can just click and read them. There are 1.7M in the StackLife DPLA metacollection. (Development was funded in part by a Sprint grant from the DPLA. Thank you, DPLA!)

Here are some links:

StackLife DPLA: The DPLA press release: The DPLA version FAQ:

The StackLife team—along with the fabulous Caleb Troughton—has worked long and hard on this. We’re pretty durn proud. And we’re very excited about the launch of the DPLA, too!