Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Statewide Digitization

One of the obvious themes of the Society of NC Archivists and SC Archives Association joint conference March 31 is digitization while the not so obvious is flexibility! Representatives from SC and NC shared statewide digital projects.

So far, there are 80,000 items scanned in the South Carolina Digital Library and those materials encompass 90 collections. The Library is funded by the SC Department of Archives and History, a partnership among academic institutions and the SC State Library. Four institutions have a scan center and a CONTENT dM server - University of SC, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University and Clemson University.

Some of the site is interactive, such as an old map against a current map to compare. The site also has lesson plans and topics for K-12 teachers. Institutions who want to contribute have to provide the material and the only requirement is a title of the collection, making it easy for institutions who not have the expertise, staff or equipment to digitize materials - flexibility!

North Carolina is flexible too!

The NC Digital Heritage Center was born in 2009 - after the laborious but fruitful NC Exploring Cultural Heritages Online project. NC ECHO was a grant funded project in which representatives surveyed all cultural and historical institutions in the state of North Carolina (they came in early 2001 to DCMA). NC ECHO also manages digitization grants for all types of institutions (such as Digital Forsyth). The part that really helped birth the NC Digital Heritage Center was the final "directory" of the institutions. The digital library uses CONTENT dM, like SC, but unlike SC, there is one server housed at UNC Chapel Hill in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Again like SC, NC has many small and "hidden" institutions which need help to scan and digitize materials; hence, flexibility. The only metadata required is a title. Institutions may add additional information if they want to in both statewide libraries.

Both states hope these Libraries last a long time - they are prepared to promote, maintain and continue building relationships with their respective cultural institutions.

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