December 3, 2020

A Visit to the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (Digital NC)

The University Gazette (U. of North Carolina) recently published the article (approx 1100 w0rds), “A Home For Virtually Everything North Carolina” and it offers an inside look at what they’re up to at the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (Digital NC). The article includes three images and a video interview with Digital NC director, Nick Graham.

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is a joint project of the State Library of North Carolina and the U. of North Carolina University Libraries. It’s located in the North Carolina Collection inside UNC’s Wilson Library.

Digital NC is also a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) hub.

From the Article:

There are more than 800 cultural heritage centers in the state, and they have great stuff in their collections,” said Nick Graham, the center’s program coordinator. But because of the prohibitive cost of the equipment and the time and labor needed, “they would never be able to digitize it on their own.”

That’s where the digital heritage center, better known as Digital NC, comes in. A program created by the State Library of North Carolina and the University Library to provide free digitization services to the state’s cultural heritage centers, Digital NC is housed in the North Carolina Collection. Funds for its support come from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

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Through the University Library’s Digital Production Center, Digital NC has the equipment to handle crumbling books and other distressed items with tender care. Flatbed scanners are used for small, flat items like postcards, a sheet-feed scanner for unbound documents and an archive book scanner for bound materials (like those yearbooks). The book scanner can produce about 3,000 pages per day.

The largest items and any 3-D objects are digitized with an overhead scanner, the Betterlight Super 8K-HS, that shoots from above with minimal exposure to harmful infrared and UV light. “The equipment we use is designed to be as gentle as possible on the originals,” Graham said. “It’s not like we’re mashing something down on a photocopier.”

Read the Complete Article, View Images and Video

See Also: 90 Years of Digitized University of North Carolina Records Now Available Online (May 5, 2014)

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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