UNCG begins work on IMLS Sparks!Ignition Grant project

Work has begun on a new collaborative project involving the Digital Projects Unit of the University Libraries at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the Hayes-Taylor YMCA. The Digital Projects Unit has been awarded a 2014-2015 IMLS Sparks! Ignition Grant for Libraries and will manage this $23,522 grant in partnership with the Hayes-Taylor YMCA and their Achievers Program.

The youth at the Hayes-Taylor YMCA will participate in discussions on local history and digital photography, learn the proper handling of historical and archival materials, and will visit area libraries and archives. These young DGHi (Digitizing Greensboro Historical information) Explorers will be taught to use flatbed scanners and digital cameras as document "scanners."

Teamed with YMCA mentors, the youths will go into homes and organizations in the community to discover and reproduce hidden historical documents with digital cameras. The completion of questionnaires will permit the UNCG Libraries to place the material online. There will also be significant public outreach, including a "community history scanning day" held at the new Hayes-Taylor YMCA, and a capstone display of some of items and information discovered during the course of the project.

Project staff at University Libraries include Digital Projects Coordinator David Gwynn as project director, J. Stephen Catlett as project manager. Felton Foushee, Achievers Director at Hayes-Taylor YMCA, will coordinate the DGHi Explorers.

Digital collections update


The fall semester was a busy one as we completed or continued work on several projects:

Performing arts collections:

Our digital cello music presence has grown dramatically in the past few months as we added over six thousand pages of manuscript materials and other selections from the following physical collections:

Local history collections:

Following the successful launch last year of Textiles, Teachers, and Troops, we have added a considerable amount of newly-digitized material on the history of Greensboro, primarily as part of two collections:

  • Postwar Urban Renewal and Planning in Greensboro: A collection of  more than four thousand pages of documents illustrating the drmatic changes (some good and some bad) that took place as the result of redevelopment activities in Greensboro following World War II. This project is a collaborative effort between the University Libraries, the Greensboro Public Library, and the Greensboro Historical Museum.
  • Records of the Fisher Park Neighborhood Association: Approximately four thousand pages of materials documenting the establishment and growth of Greensboro's first historic district. These materials were digitized in part through a grant from the City of Greensboro's Building Better Communities program.
UNCG collections:

Another big addition has been the Campus Theatre Productions Collection held by the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), with neraly five thousand pages of documents pertaining to plays and other productions performed on campus between 1897 and 1963.

We have also nearly completed digitization of most of the scrapbooks held in SCUA's manuscript collections; this project follows a three-year project in which we digitized scrapbooks held as part of the University Archives.

Last but not least, we have finalized the digitization and display of the Robert Watson Papers and the Randall Jarrell Papers.

Redesigned/enhanced collections:

One of our most significant achievements this semester has been the migration of Civil Rights Greensboro and the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project onto the CONTENTdm server platform, which will allow increased search and discovery options and allow us to integrate those collections into Worldcat and the Digital Public Library of America.

Still to come:

Still in progress this year are additions to the Home Economics Pamphlets collection, the Lois Lenski Juvenile Literature Collection, and a pilot project to digitize items from the Anna Gove Papers. And later this year, we will begin the bulk of the work on an IMLS-funded local history project with the Hayes Taylor YMCA Digital Explorers project. More later on these projects!

Growing cello collections

Two new additions to our digital cello music collections premiered this morning as we added selections from the Laszlo Varga Musical Score Collection and the Janos Scholz Musical Score Collection.

These are sixth and seventh additions, respectively, to the cello music project, which made its first appearance in 2011 with selections from the Bernard Greenhouse Collection.

UNCG's Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives is home to the largest single holding of cello music-related materials in the world.

Urban development, pamphlets, slavery records, and Civil Rights Greensboro

Annual report and map, City Of Greensboro, North Carolina, 1965-1966

There are many changes and updates afoot in out digital collections, and more are on the way.

Civil Rights Greensboro
This collection, online since 2009, has recently been migrated into our CONTENTdm hosting platform. This move provides some significant benefits, including faceted search capability, full-text search within the oral histories and many other documents, and higher-resolution images. The move will also allow this collection to be added to the Digital Public Library of America and to Worldcat. As part of the upgrade, we have also added to the collection over four hundred newspaper articles dating from the 1960 sit-ins that were digitized by the Greensboro Public Library.

A similar migration is planned for the Women Veterans Historical Project later this year.

Digital Library on American Slavery
The Development Team here in the University Libraries has built an outstanding new interface that brings together the search functions of the Race and Slavery Petitions Project and the NC Runaway Slave Ads project. But this is just the beginning. We will soon be adding other databases from different institutions  to the search interface so as to allow "one-stop shopping" for any number of slavery-related collections. Hats off the ERIT Development Team for pulling this all together!

Greensboro Urban Development
We are currently adding material to a new Greensboro history collection, spotlighting urban development in Greensboro, particularly in the years after World War II. This collection will include planning documents, maps, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting downtown development, urban renewal activities, the growth of historic districts, and more. The collection currently features planning-related content held by UNCG University Libraries but we will soon be adding additional material from the Greensboro Public Library and the Greensboro Historical Museum. In addition, we are currently digitizing the archives of the Fisher Park Neighborhood Association, Greensboro's first designated historic district.

New material is going online every week.

Home Economics and Nutrition Pamphlets
We have completed the second phase of digitization on this popular project and are in the process of placing online approximately three hundred new pamphlets that run the gamut from product manuals to cookbooks, all of which are held by the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. This is a great look at home culture throughout the Twentieth Century and it's also a lot of fun.

Three hundred new items should be online by early September.

More soon:
Watch this space for updates coming soon to our Manuscript Collections, Cello Music Collections, and University Archives Images and Documents.

Digital Projects end-of-year update, 2013-2014


At the end of the academic year, we do a report to the Digital Projects Priorities Team on the past year's activities. This is an edited version of that report. It was a very productive year.

My thanks to the team: to Erica Rau and Kathy Howard in Digital Projects, who did such great work on so many projects; to Callie Coward and Anna Craft from Cataloging; and to Scott Hinshaw, Kathelene McCarty Smith, and everyone else in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. Thanks as well to the department where Digital Projects "lives", Electronic Resources and Information Technology, for a level of support that goes far beyond the call of duty. We couldn't so many great projects without a real collaborative team and I really appreciate the way everyone pulls together to accomplish all our goals!

Special thanks to Stephen Catlett, who completes his tenure as Textiles, Teachers, and Troops project manager this week after doing some amazing work over the past two years. Stephen did an incredible job working with our partners and students on TTT as well as with community outreach on our CBR/local history grant project and coordination of displays and our launch event in April. We are very much going to miss having him around and hope we can rectify that situation soon!

Also, many thanks to this year's team of student workers (Evan Chu, Megan Coker, Tatiana Cox, Rachel Sanders, James Stewart, Phil White, and Hayley Whitehead) and our volunteers (Larry Daniels, Bernitae Reed, and Touger Vang). Your efforts are much appreciated and we couldn't do any of this without you!

An announcement of this year's approved and continuing projects will be available in the next few weeks.

2013-2014 Project Status:
Other Projects:
Some Numbers:

We now have 251003 digital files in CONTENTdm, our digital content management system, making 25243 items and spanning nearly a thousand years of history...although most are admittedly from the past 150 years or so.

Included are:
  • 8243 newspapers
  • 4968 photos/photo folders
  • 2223 clippings/folders and items containing clipping
  • 1529 pamphlets
  • 928 pieces of correspondence
  • 702 music scores