How to Participate

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

North Carolina cultural heritage institutions with collections open to the public are eligible for our services. We’ve worked with high school alumni associations, public libraries, college libraries, museums, historic sites, archives and historical societies. Religious institutions may participate in partnership with a cultural heritage institution. To find out if we can work with your group, just ask!

How Much Does It Cost?

We can offer our services at no cost to our partners thanks to funding from Institute of Museum and Library Services as disbursed by the State Library of North Carolina and the UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries.

How Many Items Can My Institution Contribute for Digitization?

We make an effort to meet each institution’s needs, but we are also also committed to working with many different institutions around the state. Quantity, size, format, and condition of the original materials help determine how much we can take at a time from any single institution. Please see the Selecting Materials for Scanning page for more information.

Can My Institution Contribute Images That We Have Already Scanned?

If you do not have a means of publishing them online, we may be able to publish them on Contact us and we can chat about what formats you have, how much content, and your timeline.

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

We can scan almost any type of item, as long as it does not raise any privacy or significant copyright concerns and does not pose any conservation challenges. We most frequently work with published volumes, photos, slides and negatives, manuscript items, and scrapbooks, but can also accommodate oversized and three-dimensional items.

What About Copyright?

We advise partners about copyright, 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 includes a rights statement. Please see our policy on Copyright, Reuse Questions, and Privacy Concerns for more information.

Who Owns the Materials Once They’re Online?

The original institution. We do not retain any of the physical materials and freely over the original scans we create to our partners. Every item record includes the name of the institution that contributed the item, contact information for that institution, and a rights statement.  

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

Yes! We 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 as long as no money is collected in exchange for the files.

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

Some institutions have the time and resources to provide a lot of metadata – others can provide little or none. We will work with you on an individual basis. See Describing Your Materials if you’d like to provide metadata prior to digitization.

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

Most partners bring the materials to us, while a few choose to ship items.  It is the responsibility of the contributing institution to transport the materials to Chapel Hill and back. 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. We occasionally will come to you to scan materials. Contact us if you’d like to hear more about that opportunity.