Thousands of images, texts, and audio/video from ECU's diverse collections and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How did you build this site/ what software did you use?

Joyner Library Digital Collections was developed in-house using existing staff. Repository data is stored in a SQL database that is used to populate METS records and an Apache Solr index. Each object (text, image, audio, video, or some combination of these) is digitized and described in the METS record to the standards found in our Technical Guidelines. The site framework was developed using the .NET platform.

I have found an object on your site related to a subject I am interested in. Can you tell me more about it or how I can find even more objects?

Digital Collections staff are not experts in all of the content represented on the site, but there are several ways you can continue your search for other materials of interest:

  • As often as possible, we have tried to create links to additional resources that may be of interest to you if searching on our site is not enough. When you do a search, you should see one set of additional resources at the bottom of the results page:

    These are links to other resources at the library. The first is the East Carolina Manuscript Collection Guides, which are inventories of the materials that can be found in the library's special collections department. Next is the Eastern North Carolina Digital Library, a digital collection of books, artifacts, audio, and video related to the history of the region. Finally, there is a link to ECU Libraries, an index of the holdings of the libraries.

    When you are looking at an image you are interested in, there are some additional resources linked in the image information at the bottom left of the page:

  • Another resource you can try is the finding aids, or the East Carolina Manuscript Collection Guides. These are inventories of the materials that can be found in the library's special collections department. When material from the collections has been scanned, it is linked from the finding aid in the "Container List" or "Preliminary Inventory".

  • If you have tried the above resources and would still like to find out more, contact one of Joyner Library's reference staff using the Ask Us page. Staff are available by phone, email, or chat and can help you expand your search to even more resources.

How can I use this image/text/audio file?

Every object in the collection contains a statement about its legal reuse:

The images on this site are available for research, teaching, and private study. Permission for any other use must be permitted by the copyright holder. It is your responsibility to contact the copyright holder for any use other than research, teaching or private study. In some cases the librarians at Joyner may be able to assist you in finding the proper copyright holder, but we cannot guarantee this.

I have a similar item at home. Can you give me information/the estimated value of it?

We do not have records of the current market value of items. We do not do appraisals. If you are interested in finding out the price of an item, we suggest you work with an appraiser in your area, or online.


Collection: A collection of digital objects is any group of objects that have been coordinated together by Joyner Library staff because of some similarity, such as objects created by the same person or on the same subject. In some cases, these digital collections mirror physical collections of materials that are held throughout the library. Physical collections can be explored through the Special Collections department's finding aids.

Database: An ordered set of data that can be systematically searched. Digital Collections is driven by an underlying database with information about each digital object. When you perform a search, you are looking through the information in the database to find an object that matches what you searched for.

Digital object: any digital version of a physical item. Digital versions may be created through scanning, photography, or tape to digital conversion. Digital objects may be composed of many individual scans or recordings, or some combination of these, such as in the case of a book where each page has been scanned and a digital audio recording is made of someone reading the text for playback at the same time.

Digital Collections: is the online home of Joyner Library's database of digital objects. Anyone can come here to browse through or search for digital objects from Joyner's many collections.

Digital Collections Unit: The Digital Collections unit is a group of people at the library responsible for creating and maintaining Digital Collections. In addition, they provide services for a few other databases of digital objects related to the library. Find out more about the unit on our About page.

Finding Aid: A written guide to a physical collection containing a description of the materials in the collection. In some cases, finding aids also contain an inventory of items, a biographical description of the creator or subject of the materials, donor information, and copyright information. Many items in digital collections are also described in a finding aid for the physical collection they reside with. In many of these cases, the finding aid contains links to the digital object.

Record: All of the information about a particular digital object. The record contains descriptive, administrative, and technical information about the digital object and the physical item it was created form.

Subjects: Subjects are simply terms assigned to digital objects (in the object's record) that described the subject matter contained. For example, an image of a college dance might contain the subject "Dance and Dancing". These subjects help you find records and digital objects that do not contain text that you can search.

Subject Cloud: A visual representation of all of the subjects in every record in the database. When a subject appears in more than one record it has a heavier weight and will appear bigger in the cloud. There are three types of subject clouds in Digital Collections: one containing the most frequently appearing subjects, one containing some of the most unique subjects, and one that is randomly generated. Clicking on any term in any cloud will retrieve each digital object and record that contains that subject.

Thumbnail: A small version of an image used when a large number of images are being viewed at once. In nearly every case, clicking on a thumbnail will lead to a larger version of the image along with all of the information about it in the database.