Phase One (October 2013 though April 2015) focused on recruiting the necessary personnel, installing and testing the open source harvester/aggregator, and ingesting content from Phase One contributors. Contributors to Phase One were digital collections hosted by NY3Rs councils (New York Heritage, Hudson River Valley Heritage, METRO Digital Culture, and Long Island Memories) as well as the State Library. Project staff was hired, and a governance structure including an Advisory Committee and relevant working groups were put in place. The first contribution of New York records went live in DPLA in April 2015.

Phase Two (May 2015 through April 2016) focuses on recruitment of digital collections outside of the initial cohort. These include libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage institutions not working directly with the Empire Library Network regional councils to host their digital collections (i.e. NY State Library, NY State Archives, larger academic libraries, smaller cultural heritage institutions, etc.). Recruitment of Phase 2 contributors will be facilitated through the Empire Library Network councils and will include regional workshops, webcasts, on-boarding documentation, and unified statewide workflows.