November 23, 2020

"Digital Library of Georgia Makes Civil War, Civil Rights Accessible"

From The Newnan Times-Herald:

From the Civil War to Civil Rights — and on to the present — the Digital Library of Georgia chronicles the evolving relationships between black and white Georgians.

While the DLG is physically located on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, its electronic presence is available to anybody who has access to a computer. The Civil Rights Digital Library includes hours of television footage from the 1950s and 1960s as the fight for racial equality took place in Georgia, and a new project takes a similar look at the Civil War and the social changes it spawned.

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The project was started 11 years ago. DLG now catalogs “about a million digital objects from about 65 libraries, archives and museums and about 100 agencies of state government,” [Dr. P. Toby] Graham [director of the DLG] said.”

Although DLG is open to anyone, it rides along on the Galileo system, which provides online resources to students at Georgia’s public colleges and universities. Although students pay a fee to access Galileo’s holdings, the Digital Library of Georgia is available free to anyone with Internet access.

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Sheila McAlister, DLG’s associate director, said special care is taken as items are put on the DLG to help searchers find what they are seeking. Many of the items, even though they may have been in a library or museum collection for decades, have never been fully described.

“At DLG we really pride ourselves on having really high quality descriptive materials,” McAlister said.

The DGL reflects a change in personal habits, in which people turn more and more often to the Internet for information on all topics. “People expect the information they need to be online,” Graham observed.

In 2010, DLG had 484,777 unique visitors who looked at 4.36 million pages. “We’re adding more and more all the time,” Graham said.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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