The Digital South website is a collaborative effort between University Libraries and the College of Arts and Sciences as a part of the Southern Futures collective — a group of community leaders focused on reimagining the American South.
The Digital South website launched earlier this week, but the original idea for the platform has been in the works since before the pandemic.
María Estorino, vice provost for University Libraries and University librarian, initiated the site’s growth in 2021 with a vision for increased digital scholarship methods to study the American South.
“Through the Digital South website and speaker series, we are fostering a community of humanities data researchers, incubating collaboration and advancing the campus Southern Futures initiative,” she said in a statement.
The goal of the Digital South website is to create a virtual space to encourage partnership between scholars – students, staff, faculty or anyone using digital scholarship — to research or teach about the American South.
Rolando Rodriguez, an academic library associate at UNC, said visitors can see ongoing projects, explore a particular project’s page and spark conversations regarding southern history through the website.
The projects featured on the website are initiatives that the library staff has coordinated or researched. Rodriguez also spoke with faculty and staff in various departments to learn more about their projects on the American South to showcase on the website.
“And as more conversations are had, we can add more projects and more collections as relevant,” he said.
The Digital South helps emphasize how online tools can advance the study and teaching of the American South through a wide range of methods. While some projects are focused on the classrooms, others have come from scholars’ research that have made use of the special collection and digitized newspapers.