More than 100 different organizations, largely universities and libraries, are involved with DigitalNC, Graham said.
He said the program was created to give institutions the opportunity to share their collections online for free, which is especially helpful for small organizations that lack the needed resources to create their own online archives.
It also creates a more efficient way of preserving these archives by combining and consolidating them all into one database, he said, adding that the program speaks to the statewide mission of connecting institutions.
“We are really excited to promote the discovery of this irreplaceable historic material,” Graham said.
The program is funded by annual grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services per provisions of the Library and Services and Technology Act, Graham said.
According to the center’s website, it also receives funds from UNC Libraries.
Graham said grants are sometimes as large as several hundred thousand dollars.
Maggie Dickson, digital projects librarian, manages the workflow of DigitalNC out of Wilson Library.
She said she is beginning to expand the archives by collecting high-school yearbooks 50 years or older to add into the system.
Jacqueline Chapman, a graduate student in the School of Information and Library Science, works on the digitization of primary-source materials.
Chapman makes the archives searchable by inserting titles, dates and keywords to the submissions.
“(DigitalNC) will be around for a while. We’ll be here as long as there is a need, and I think there will always be a need,” she said.
Chapman said that people using the program enjoy the personalized experience — some users have been able to find documentation of relatives.
She said that her favorite part of the archives is the old scrapbooks, which contain minutes from old meetings, as well as photographs and commentary.
Chapman added that DigitalNC has an important role in connecting people.
“We are fortunate to have this center at UNC to digitize materials from across the state at a high level of quality, with precision and care,” she said.
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