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Digital Collections

Digital collections priorities, 2018-2019

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New projects


People Not Property: Slave Deeds of North Carolina
A collaborative endeavor between the UNCG University Libraries, North Carolina Division of Archives and Records, and North Carolina Registers of Deeds among others. Working as an addition to and evolution of the Digital Library on American Slavery, the project is leading towards a unique, centralized database of bills of sales indexing the names of enslaved people from across North Carolina.When complete, People Not Property will include robust metadata, high resolution images, and full-text searchable transcripts. We hope to open the project to states beyond North Carolina, creating a central location for accessing and researching slave deeds from across the Southern United States.

Photos and Concert Programs of the UNCG Cello Music Collection
The proposed project is to digitize photographs and concert programs from 4 of the Cello Music Collections: Luigi Silva, Elizabeth Cowling, Rudolf Matz, and Ennio Bolognini. The digitization of these materials would enhance the existing cello digital music collections. The concert programs would allow researchers to track the performance careers of these cellists, and the photographs would add a visually appealing component to the collection, which would make the collection more attractive to non-musicians.

Bryan School Annual Reports
Digitize the Bryan School's annual reports to the Provost, from 1969-70 to 2003-04. The Bryan School will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in the 2019-2020 academic year.

UNCG Graduate, Summer Session, and Extension Bulletins
Digitization of the bound graduate, summer session, and extension course bulletins. These will complement the undergraduate bulletins that were digitized several years ago, providing a complete picture of courses offered at UNCG since its founding. This will allow researchers to learn about these programs offered outside of the standard undergraduate curriculum.

Ongoing projects


Big changes

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Over the next year or so, we will be making big changes to the UNCG Digital Collections as we move to a new content management system and create a brand new user experience. More details will follow, but our hope is that the new website will make it easier for users to find information, and will provide better search and viewing options for our collections. The look and feel will be simplified and should be much more accessible on mobile devices. Our collections will also continue to be discoverable through WorldCat and the Digital Public Library of America.

There may be some impact and a few moments of confusion starting in a few months as we begin migrating our collections to the new platform. We will try to keep you updated and to minimize the disruptions. The main thing you may notice to begin with is that we will be adding very little new content for the next few months as we do not want to end up adding items in two different places.

Again, more details will follow. We're excited!

William Sidney Porter a/k/a O. Henry

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Original pencil drawing by William Sydney Porter
UNCG Digital Collections is excited to be working with the Greensboro History Museum to host digitized items from the William Sydney Porter Papers, 1839-1982.

Porter, a Greensboro native, was better known by the pseudonym O. Henry, was the well-known author of some two hundred published short stories, including "The Ransom of Red Chief" and "The Gift of the Magi."

The William Sydney Porter Papers contain many first editions, as well as correspondence, printed materials, financial/legal documents, and literary productions. The collection also includes scrapbooks, radio dramalogues, newspaper clippings, sketches and drawings, photographs, magazines, paintings and an audio recording. The bulk of material dates from William Sydney Porter’s lifetime, 1862-1910.

Only selected items from the collection have been digitized, specifically the correspondence series and portions of the financial/legal and artwork series. Additional items may be digitized in the future.

The full collection may be viewed at the Greensboro History Museum.

Neo-Black Society Records

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A major new addition to the UNCG Digital Collections is the Neo-Black Society Records, 1969-2013.

From the collection finding aid:

This collection contains the official records that reflect the functions and activities of the Neo-Black Society. These records contain materials related to general body and executive board meetings, budgets, correspondence, memorandums, committee and presidential reports, flyers, programs, and general topics including but not limited to the 1973 funding protest. The collection also contains video tapes, cassettes, compact disks, and floppy disks with photographs and documents. In addition, there are separate collections of photographs, artifacts, and textiles related to the records of the Neo-Black Society...

In 1967, black students at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) formed the student group, the Neo-Black Society (NBS), in response to growing concerns about the support and acceptance of black students on campus. At its founding, the NBS was extremely separatist, calling for parallel university events for black students. The organization was also very vocal in advocating the recruiting of more black faculty at UNCG as well the incorporation of more black history and culture into the curriculum. First meeting in the student lounge, the NBS soon moved to a more permanent room in Elliott Hall. The organization quickly distinguished itself across the campus and within the Greensboro community through its sponsorship of an annual Black Arts Festival as well as a Gospel Choir and other social activities.

In 1973, the NBS had clearly established itself as a strong, albeit confrontational, presence across the UNCG campus. This resulted in some resentment by some white students who consequently pushed for the removal of student funding for the NBS. They argued that the society was segregationist by refusing to admit whites which was a direct violation of the university anti-discrimination regulations. Acknowledging the students complaints, the student senate on the night of March 26-27, voted to withdraw funding for the organization. Hearing the results of this meeting created an immediate backlash across the university as over 300 students began a sit-in movement to occupy the Foust building. Recognizing the frustrations of the students, Chancellor Ferguson agree to appoint a faculty review committee to look into the matter. During this time, the students continued to peacefully maintain a sit-in presence while the committee investigated the matter.

Chaired by psychology Professor Kendon Smith and made up of three white professors and two black professors, the committee agreed on March 30th to uphold the NBS funding and found the student senate in serious breach of procedural errors. Chancellor Ferguson accepted the findings as did most of the faculty. Despite the ruling, some students were still upset and appealed to the board of trustees who voted to remand the matter to the student senate for further consideration. In the fall of 1973, the NBS agreed to add several white members to the organization as well as draft anti-discrimination language into its constitution which appeased the senate and funding was restored.

Today, the Neo-Black Society continues to be an active organization at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Approximately 4000 pages of material were digitized. The project also includes digitization of a group of approximately 150 photos from the University Archives Photographic Prints Collection pertaining to the Neo-Black Society. Selections from the collection had been made available previously as part of the Civil Rights Greensboro project in 2008 and 2009.

The collection was digitized with funding from the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives.

Digital Projects Status, 2016-2017

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Good Medicine
This LSTA-funded project involved digitizing 47,000 items (over 62,000 items were ultimately completed) related to the history of medical practice in Greensboro. The $60,000-plus grant was completed in collaboration with the Greensboro History Museum, Cone Health Medical Library, and the Greensboro Public Library, with UNCG as the lead.
  • Project is complete and we exceeded the number of items promised by nearly 15,000.
  • 62,000-plus items online, making it our largest completely in-house project ever.
  • New pathfinders completed to link to specific topic-based items in lieu of more traditional contextual essays: http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/goodmedpathways/

Cone Hospital Records
This project resulted in the digitization of nearly 20,000 items from the Cone Hospital Collection held by the Cone Health Medical Library. Cone Health provided corporate funding for the project.
  • Complete with the exception of a couple of low-priority scrapbooks we're finishing up. All funding has been received, though we were actually under budget on payroll.
  • This project led to the larger Good Medicine project (above).

I Wish to Say
This project, part of the University Libraries Digital Partners Grant program, digitized and transcribed  items from UNCG faculty member Sheryl Oring’s “I Wish to Say” art project, specifically 3200 postcards composed by participants and mailed to national and world leaders. Oring’s project has received significant national attention and has been published in a book. We coordinated the digitization and ingest into CONTENTdm and the devlopment team built an API-based interface.
  • Complete. Working on a second phase.
  • Over 3200 items online.

Slave Ads Grant
A UNCG strategic seed grant ($20,000) was to support a pilot project for the next phase of the NC Runaway Slave Ads project (one of our most-used digitized collections) which will identify, digitize, and transcribe ads that appeared in North Carolina newspapers from 1840-1865. The grant supports hiring of student workers to benchmark the project and also to coordinate a classroom integration aspect, with HIS and LIS students working on class projects related to the project.
  • Applied for and received UNCG strategic seed grant. Project in progress.
  • Worked with 3 classes already, 2 student workers hired.

Women's Professional Forum Records
This collection was donated to the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives with funds for processing and digitization.
  • Processing was not complete for last year's cycle.
  • Student in place and working on this now. May hire an additional student.

American Publishers Trade Bindings metadata cleanup
This is a project to clean up faulty metadata associated with a ten-year-old (but ongoing) digitization project involving rare decorative bookbindings.
  • Almost done. projected completion late summer/early fall.

Children's Literature (Phase 2)
A project to digitize unique and rare children’s books held by UNCG.
  • In progress as time and resources permit.
Early Cello Manuscripts
Project to digitize early cello manuscripts, some dating to the 1700s, from our vast cello music holdings.
  • Complete. Added an additional 500-plus pages in addition to the promised 750.

Maud Gatewood Papers
Project to digitize the papers of artist Maud Gatewood, for whom UNCG’s studio arts building is named. The collection includes thousands of sketches in addition to other items.
  • Largely complete. Still assessing some oversize sketches for scanning vs. photography.

Peter Paul Fuchs Papers (Phase 1)
Project to digitize music scores pertaining to Peter Paul Fuchs, a Greensboro conductor, composer, and teacher.
  • Complete. Approximately 1600 pages of material.

Women Veterans Historical Project
Ongoing contributions to one of our most-used digitized collections.
  • Added 24 oral histories, plus about 500 additional items (photos, documents, etc.)

Alpha Delta Kappa Records
Digitized records (mostly scrapbooks) from collection of records related to an organization of women educators at UNCG.
  • In progress: Promised 3600 pages, completed 7611 pages. Maybe halfway done at this point.
  • Project much bigger than anticipated.

Metadata projects
  • DPLA rights statements (http://rightsstatements.org/) completely implemented on all but one collection. ETA for completion: End of July.
  • Worked out local subject tags issue controlled vocabulary and implemented changes on Good Medicine. Holding off on retrofitting other collections pending CDM replacement.

Other accomplishments, side projects, etc.
  • CONTENTdm site redesign with new navigation and improved user interface. 
  • Additional small-project work with Greensboro History Museum:
  • Greensboro Business Magazine digitization completed.