About the Eastern North Carolina Digital Library

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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.