Eastern North Carolina Digital Library

About the Eastern North Carolina Digital Library

Users' Comments

In 2003-2004, the North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library was launched. During 2003-2004, approximately 200 texts were digitized pertaining to the history of 29 eastern North Carolina counties. Principle Investigator for 2003-2004, Elizabeth Smith, and her colleagues in Joyner Library's North Carolina Collection were responsible for the selection of these titles. The materials were selected from the North Carolina Collection and the Snow L. and B.W. Roberts Collection of over 1,100 works of fiction set in North Carolina dating from 1734. Some materials related to Dare County were selected from the Outer Banks History Center collection. Working with members of the Digital Initiatives team in the Joyner Systems department to bring these pages to life, Smith's project became an immediate success.

In 2004-2005, Joyner Library partnered with Historic Hope Foundation, Tobacco Farm Life Museum, the Country Doctor Museum and members of ECU's College of Education to expand the North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library. The successful recipient of the first three-year Heritage Partners grant awarded by NC ECHO, Joyner and its partners are making available over 20,000 additional pages of historic texts related to eastern North Carolina, zoomable maps, zoomable images and video footage of museum artifacts, and related alignments and lesson plans for North Carolina educators. Focus groups with area educators were held to help us refine the site to better meet the needs of teachers and students.

In the current grant year, 2005-2006, under the direction of Emily Gore, Project Manager, the North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library became the Eastern North Carolina Digital Library. The name was changed from the North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library to a more encompassing title that will allow for the development of a broader digital library, as well as a name that is easier to remember and say! In addition to a name change, the site received an overhaul based largely on input received from teachers during workshops. During 2005-2006, additional partnerships were established with the New Hanover County Public Library and UNCW's Randall Library to add approximately 11,000 pages of historic Southeastern NC texts to the site. Approximately 100 additional artifacts with relevant data, videos and zoomable images from the museums were added, as well as 20+ additional lesson plans and activities from Eastern North Carolina teachers. In 2006-2007, the Classroom Resources section of the site will be enhanced and many more lessons and activities will be available for classroom use.

This project brings together local history materials, historical fiction related to these localities, and museum artifacts that highlight Eastern North Carolina's rich past.


The website fosters keyword, title, subject, author, artifact, classroom resource and geographic access. Keyword full-text searching is available in the search box at the top of every category page, as well as on the Search page. Enhanced search features added in 2005-2006 include the organization of search results by type (text, artifact or classroom resource), contextual search results, as well as an enhanced book viewer.

The varied reading levels of materials digitized as well as the zoomable artifact photographs and streaming video makes this digital library valuable to users ranging from young readers to advanced researchers. The material is especially useful to public school teachers and students, local historians, genealogists and ECU students and faculty.


Significant support for this project comes from the NC ECHO Heritage Partners grant for 2004-2007. These LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds were made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The NC ECHO website is a portal to cultural repositories and institutions in the state. Previous funding for the original North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library came from NC ECHO in the form of a digitization grant and from Apex CoVantage.


Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page to get in touch with us. The Contact Us form will be received by a member of the Digital Collections Staff upon submission and will be answered promptly.

Users' Comments

Using the resources of East Carolina University’s Eastern North Carolina Digital Library, I have been able to trace my family history on the Internet to a large extent. For example, Episcopal Church publications you have in this collection mention some of my ancestors in the Edenton area. The Walter Clark volumes of N.C. Civil War Troops are also a great resource. Thank you for your fine service!

Dan Johnson, Durham, NC

This is really something else.  I think you could call this the "Rolls Royce" of digitization.  It using the best aspects of museum interpretation and library access, providing a "transformative" experience - in other words, the digital product does things that the analog can not.

What of fine peice of work! 

Kevin Cherry

Thank you for the link. We are just starting out with digitization projects here at Guilford so don't have anything available yet. We have several related manuscript collections such as materials relating to Julia White and the Belvidere Academy Papers. I'd like to get links to sites such as yours to give our researchers access to additional information.

Librarian and College Archivist
Friends Historical Collection
Guilford College

I wanted to let you know how much the digital collection you all have put together means to me personally. I have struggled for three years to reconstruct the life of Timothy Hunter, a shipbuilder in antebellum Elizabeth City. I've compiled index cards of anyone who was mentioned in his papers and researched each of them to find out where he or she fits in this puzzle that is Tim's life. There is so little information available on the Internet or in electronic databases that I've spent most of my time digging through microforms and crumbling documents. What an absolute delight to find Bettie Freshwater Pool's manuscript on the net! I probably would have dismissed it as a source of local poetry without realizing that it also contains biographical sketches of the natives. With each one that I read, I feel the pieces of the puzzle coming together. The rough sketch that is Timothy Hunter begins to flesh out as I see him in his cultural setting.

I can imagine how much work has gone into the project -- it's huge! The value of it is beyond measure. Thank you for recognizing the importance of this collection and for making it accessible to so many.

Joyner Library
East Carolina University

I have just read the History of Halifax County on your site, and am interested in knowing more on some of the gentlemen mentioned, namely, John Webb and William E. Webb. Do you have other documentations on these men? I am doing family research and am on the Webb mailing list with a lot of really great genealogists. When we find a great website with Webb info, we share it with the list. I am a novice at genealogy and websites such as yours make it so much fun finding ancestors while also learning so much about the history of our great nation. I wish elementary schools would encourage students to research their family history because it makes learning about U.S. and World History so much more meaningful. From personal experience I never was interested in history until I started doing genealogy and now I just can't get enough.

Thanks for having such a great website and for taking the time to respond.

Garland, Texas

Someone in our library IT office sent me the link to your new NC History and Fiction Digital Site. It is very cool and I am truly impressed. Congratulations on your award winning presentation.

Fairfax County Public Library
Fairfax VA

Excellent news. I will be posting the URL on the main website (www.forenc.com) under the "NC Links" button. I'll set it up to fall under multiples categories (Educational Resources, ENC History, etc.).
Congratulations. This is indeed great news.

Director of Communications

Congratulations! It looks great :)

Associate Director
Electronic Text Center
University of Virginia Library

Your grant project looks quite marvelous. You and your colleagues have done a wonderful job. Thank you for sharing your website. I've forwarded it to several colleagues.

Faculty Director, Special Collections
University Libraries
University of Colorado at Boulder

Please accept my belated congratulations for the excellent site "North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library." You've probably already seen that it was included in Gary Price's Resource Shelf. But, if not, here is the paragraph. It was featured on July 6. URL: http://www.resourceshelf.com/2004_07_01_resourceshelf_archive.html

Joyner Library
East Carolina University

It’s now the featured site on the NC ECHO home page, and I want to especially say how much we appreciate the prominent logo & acknowledgement of funding sources! The site is great fun to explore. I have just enjoyed a leisurely browse thru the soil survey of Lake Mattamuskeet, as well as look at the population changes in the northeastern counties, etc., etc. There's a lot there! bravo to all whose efforts made this a reality.

Thanks again,
NC ECHO Project Manager http://www.ncecho.org
State Library of North Carolina

I have a patron who would like to get a color copy of the 1915 Wayne County Soil Survey map that's linked from the top of the Wayne County page. We have a large-format color printer to which I could print it for her, but the image on your site doesn't seem to be high enough resolution to print even in letter size, much less the original map size. This patron was very excited to find this map on your site because it shows a community called Adam's Store just east of Goldsboro. She has been looking for such a map for some time.

Would it be possible for me to get a higher resolution image from you? Is there something else I could do with this image to get it to print correctly? Do you have facilities there to make a color copy of the original that she could purchase? If so, what would the charge be?

Thanks so much for any advice!
State Library of North Carolina

I wanted to thank you for coordinating the NC History and Fiction Digital Library project. The diversity of resources is remarkable!

I have found many, many resources of interest. I appreciate the ability to view and read the images as well as the option to view and read text. The "navigation" and "search" features are very helpful and the booklists are great for identifying additional resources about a county.

You have provided so many ways to learn about the history of Eastern North Carolina, and I will enjoy perusing the Web site for a long while. It is so exciting to see these resources! Thank you very much for making them available to us electronically.
Chesapeake Virginia
(North Carolina native)

I've just had a chance to look at this - wonderful site! Congratulations and thanks for creating it.
Wayne County Public Library

Wow! This is fantastic! You've done great work and should be very proud.
Florida University

I see that your site it up and looking great, so we are going to go ahead and make it the NC ECHO Featured Site..... And thank you so much for your link to ECHO; the logo and credit line are just what we like to see!

Thank you again for letting us know and for spreading the word, and of course for all your hard work to make this a reality!
State Library of North Carolina

I was just wrangling with some issues on a project I recently began managing, went to email for some distraction and - oh serendipity - found your message re: launch of the North Carolina History & Fiction Digital library. First of all, congratulations - I had a quick stroll through and the site is impressive. Great functionality and aesthetically so appealing. I will return to spend some more time with it. I wonder if you would mind sharing some of your experience, recommendations on vendors to include in the RFP process, etc? The project I'm working on will microfilm & digitize a selection of books from John Adams personal library, which the Boston Public Library holds...many of the books are annotated in his hand, so we'll be making that primary source material available to a wide audience for the first time. The *printed* texts will also be fully searchable - the sticky part will be working with the interface to present images & both texts (the printed and the annotated, marked up) together in a useful way.

I have been concerned about the costs involved in image creation directly from the originals and have been looking at costs to digitize from microfilm. You worked from originals - is there anything you can share w/me about costs, vendors, your experience with disbanding/rebinding...anything you might have to offer is appreciated. Thanks very much in advance and congratulations again on a great project.
John Adams Grant Project Manager
Boston Public Library

We have added the North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library www.lib.ecu.edu/ncc/historyfiction to our list of websites under both "History" and "Literature."
Joyner Library
East Carolina University

This looks great! I can't wait to explore. Congratulations!
College of Arts and Sciences
East Carolina University

I've just taken a whirlwind look at the site. It's just great! In my sampling I found the materials fascinating, contextual information helpful and interesting, and the site easy to navigate. I know you are feeling very proud of it.

Thank you for the clear acknowledgement to LSTA/IMLS/State Library, and NC ECHO.
State Library of North Carolina

Congratulations on the launch of this valuable digital resource! I've added a link to it from our History Subject Research Guide. My colleague will add it to the English guide as well. We appreciate your making it available.
William Madison Randall Library
University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. This is our busiest time of the year! I'd love for you to come to the September LCSN advisory board meeting and share the site. I have surfed on it and it's great! As a matter of fact, I found a Museum of the Marine Corps in Onslow County that I didn't even know was being built and they want people to buy bricks to help raise money for it. What a great way for me to honor my father, a 30 year career marine! It must have been fate for me to be surfing.
College of Education
East Carolina University

This site is terrific! Thanks for all of your hard work to make it a reality!
College of Education
East Carolina University

I just spent a few minutes browsing the site. It is wonderful. Thanks for the time and work I know this project must have taken. I am forwarding this to the FWBHC Curator and to our history professors.
Moye Library
Mount Olive College

Heritage Partner Team Members
Linda Teel, Head, Teaching Resources Center / Project Manager
Emily Gore, Former Project Manager
Michael Reece, Digital Projects Programmer
Joe Barricella, Production Coordinator
Justin Vaughan, Assistant Production Coordinator
Maury York, North Carolina Librarian
Hazel Walker, Outreach Coordinator, Teaching Resources Center
Amy Chiles, Master Teacher Consultant
Lou Rook, Budget Officer

Glenn Perkins, Curator, Historic Hope Foundation
Lynn Wagner, Director, Tobacco Farm Life Museum
Harold Jacobson, Former Director, Country Doctor Museum
Anne Anderson, Former Director, Country Doctor Museum
LuAnn Joyner, Director, Historic Hope Foundation
Dr. Ruth Moskop, Director, Country Doctor Museum
Brandie Cline, Cataloging, Country Doctor Museum

Dr. Carol Brown, Asst. Professor, LTDI
Kevin Cherry, Lecturer, LTDI

Patrica Dragon, Cataloging
Blythe Tennent, Development
Diana Williams, Former Project Manager
Elizabeth Smith, Former Principal Investigator

Josh Fairchild
Mary Marshall Mattocks
Stacey Thompson
Elizabeth Betz
Scott Balkcum
John Navarra
Brandon Lanier
Matt Lovell
Chase Terry
Burton Morris


The following organizations have provided support/assistance for the project:

NC ECHO (North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online) http://www.ncecho.org/

Apex CoVantage (formerly Apex ePublishing) http://www.apexinc.com/

Joyner Library, East Carolina University http://www.lib.ecu.edu/

OBHC (Outer Banks History Center) http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/archives/OBHC/default.htm

NC CAT (North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching) http://www.nccat.org/

LEARN NC http://www.learnnc.org/