DigitalNC: North Carolina's Digital Heritage

How to Participate

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center provides digitization and digital publishing services to cultural heritage institutions in North Carolina.

Who is Eligible to Work with the NC Digital Heritage Center?

Cultural heritage institutions in North Carolina with collections that are open to the public are eligible for the Digital Heritage Center’s digitization and digital publishing services. This includes all public and college libraries, museums, and historic sites, and many archives and historic societies. Please contact us if you have questions about whether your institution is eligible.

How Much Does It Cost?

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center was established by the State Library of North Carolina and the UNC-Chapel Hill University Library as a service to cultural heritage institutions in our state. There is currently no charge for the services provided by the Center, though there is often a limit to how much work the Center can do for any single institution.

How Many Items Can My Institution Contribute for Digitization?

It depends. The Digital Heritage Center makes an effort to complete as much as possible for each institution, but is also committed to working with many different institutions around the state, with an emphasis on those organizations that do not yet have any of their materials accessible online.

The biggest factors in determining how many items an institution can contribute are the size and condition of the original materials. For example, digitizing a hundred postcards in good condition would take a few hours, while digitizing a hundred large, fragile maps would likely take a few weeks. Please see the Selecting Materials for Digitization page for more information, or contact the Digital Heritage Center staff at digitalnc@unc.edu with any questions.

Can My Library Contribute Images That We Have Already Scanned?

The Digital Heritage Center is focused on helping institutions with materials that they want to share online with their users. If your organization has already scanned materials, but you do not have a means of publishing them online, you may be able to publish them on DigitalNC.org. Contact the Digital Heritage Center staff at digitalnc@unc.edu for more information.

What Kinds of Materials Can the Digital Heritage Center Work With?

The Digital Heritage Center will work with any material as long as it is related to North Carolina or North Carolinians and does not have any clear copyright or privacy restrictions. Please see the Selecting Materials for Digitization page for more information and tips about choosing appropriate items from your collection.

What About Copyright?

The Digital Heritage Center will only publish online materials that are clearly in the public domain, or for which permission from the current rights holder has been granted. It is the responsibility of the contributing institution to determine whether or not materials are still under copyright protection and to seek any necessary permissions.

The Digital Heritage Center staff can advise partners about copyright concerns, including determining whether materials are in the public domain, strategies for investigating orphan works, and suggestions for contacting rights holders.

Each item that is published on DigitalNC.org includes a rights statement provided by the contributing institution. If a potential rights holder objects to the online publication of any item on DigitalNC, the Digital Heritage Center will remove that item while rights issues are being resolved.

Who Owns the Materials Once They’re Online?

Each contributing institution reserves all rights to the materials it has digitized and published on DigitalNC. Every item record includes the name of the institution that contributed the item, contact information for that institution, and a rights statement. The Digital Heritage Center wants contributing institutions to be recognized and makes every effort to inform users where the materials on DigitalNC come from.

If My Institution Puts Items on DigitalNC.org, Can We Publish Them On Our Own Website As Well?

Yes. The contributing institution retains all rights to the original images. The Digital Heritage Center will provide copies, if requested, of all of the digital files and the contributing institution may re-publish these on its own website, or anywhere else it deems appropriate.

How Much Metadata Does My Institution Need to Provide for the Materials We Want Digitized?

It depends. Every contributor is responsible for providing descriptive information about the materials submitted for digitization. The contributing institution should provide as much information as is necessary for users to find and understand the materials online. Some types of materials may require more work than others to describe. Please see the Describing Your Materials page for more information about describing materials prior to digitization.

How Does My Institution Get Our Materials to Chapel Hill to be Digitized?

All digitization by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is done in the Digital Production Center, located in Wilson Library on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. It is the responsibility of the contributing institution to transport the materials to Chapel Hill and back. Most Digital Heritage Center partners bring the materials by car, while a few have chosen to ship items. The Digital Heritage Center cannot pay for postage; if your institution decides to ship materials for digitization you will need to provide an account number or labels to cover return shipping costs.