23 July 2014

SC "Digitization in a Box" program is a boon to family historians -- What is your state doing to help local communities digitally preserve invaluable content?

We all love digitization projects.  Often, a hurdle to such projects for a community (government, library, archives, etc) is a lack of money and/or know how to make such a project happen.

Well, SC is one state doing something about that !  As reported in SC libraries get help putting historic materials online

The South Carolina State Library is offering Digitization in a Box to the state's libraries to put their historic photos and documents online.

"Almost every public library in South Carolina has their own local history collection, their own South Carolina room, or someone who as donated photographs or other historical information about their community," said Digital Project Supervisor Amanda Stone. "A lot of times these small public libraries don't have the expertise to do anything with them."

Stone oversees the program, which provides the library with the equipment, software, and expertise to scan the documents and put them online so they are easy to find. Libraries get the service for two months, with an option for a third month.

This is a really great resource for SC libraries.  Read more about “Digitization in a Box.”

Are you aware of similar projects run by other states?

I see where Indiana has a grant program for libraries and cultural institutions to digitize and preserve Indiana history.

Additionally, state libraries can apply for and benefit from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) which dispenses funds that can be used for digitization efforts such as the Evansville, Wisconsin Digitization Project.  Here is a page about such grants as issued in NC for digitization (as well as other needs). There is a list on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Page, Funding for Library Digitization Projects which talks about Federal, Private and TX-based foundation funding options.

Basically, most local libraries, archives, cultural institutions, etc, do not have the expertise nor funds to digitize their invaluable contents.  Any program that can provide funding or technical support to local initiatives benefits us all.

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