This year marks the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s 10th anniversary, and to celebrate we’ll be posting 10 stories from 10 stakeholders about how NCDHC has impacted their organizations.
Today’s 10 for 10 Q&A is from Marcy Thompson, Librarian in the Local History Room at Transylvania County Library. Since 2010, we’ve partnered with Transylvania County Library (Library home page | NCDHC contributor page) digitizing scrapbooks, newspapers, photos, architectural histories, and more. Over the last few years, Marcy has expanded relationships in communities throughout Transylvania County in order to document community groups. Read below for more about our partnership with Transylvania County Library.
The Local History Room at the Transylvania County Library serves as the archives for Transylvania County. We are charged with collecting and preserving materials pertaining to Transylvania families, businesses, organizations and history including documents, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, scrapbooks and more. The Local History Room is staffed by one full-time position responsible for the service desk, a small part-time staff and a team of volunteers, along with outreach and programming. By working with the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center we have been able to make materials accessible online through DigitalNC to people in our community and far beyond. This simply that would not have been possible without the platform, technical expertise and man-hours provided by NCDHC.
The Transylvania County Library signed an agreement with NCDHC in late 2010. Initially this was a collection of just over 200 images of downtown Brevard. The immediate benefit to our Local History Room was added publicity for the collection. Since that time we have added additional images, local newspapers, local high school yearbooks, architectural survey photos and documents, and most recently a large collection of community scrapbooks. Having all of these resources available online to the public is a huge achievement for a small rural library.
The newspaper collection, which covers 1903 through June 1940, is the material group that has had the largest impact on both library staff and users in the general public. These newspapers are available in our collection on microfilm, however they are not indexed. Through DigitalNC not only are they now available to a broader audience but they are searchable! It makes our jobs easier by being able to quickly locate information.
One example of this occurred while conducting research for a local program, display and series of articles in conjunction with the Suffrage Movement and 100th anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment. Rather than spending countless hours scouring microfilm we conducted searches to learn about local suffrage events, who supported and opposed suffrage, and changes brought about as a result of women gaining the right to vote.
DigitalNC has changed the way we provide service and benefited our library by opening access to resources that would otherwise be limited to only those who visit the Local History Room at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard, NC. What truly makes NCDHC great is what they make possible every day to a world of users!