Digitizing History: Preserving the Past

The Electronic Resources and Information Technology (ERIT) Department has been working hard on many projects lately. Three projects that deserve major recognition are the Digital Library on American Slavery (DLAS), PRIDE! of the Community and Well Crafted NC. Each project is unique and available to the public.

Digital Library on American Slavery
The Digital Library on American Slavery is an expanding resource compiling various independent online collections focused upon race and slavery in the American South, made searchable through a single, simple interface. Although the current focus of DLAS is sources associated with North Carolina, there is considerable data contained herein relating to all 15 slave states and Washington, D.C., including detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders and free people of color.

There are multiple projects within the DLAS including, People Not Property (the slave deeds project), which is a collaborative endeavor funded by the National Archives. The slave ads project received grant funding from a Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) grant administered by the State Library of North Carolina. David Gwynn was the principal investigator on this grant.

PRIDE! of the Community

PRIDE! of the Community is an ongoing project documenting LGBTQ+ history in the Triad and is the first large-scale initiative to do so in this region of North Carolina. The project will continue to host scanning events in Greensboro, as well as other Triad communities and invite citizens to bring in their materials that document LGBTQ+ social life, history, activism, organizations and businesses. 

After the materials are scanned and made available online for others to see and use, individuals can receive a copy of the digital files. PRIDE! of the Community is made possible through a Common Heritage Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. More information is available at https://triadhistory.org/projects-and-resources/pride/

Well Crafted NC

Well Crafted NC promotes North Carolina craft breweries and their history to a broad community. It has helped locals recognize and appreciate that current breweries are part of a long history of brewing, while also providing local breweries with a single online resource that traces their histories and places them within the context of the broader development of the brewing industry across the state. This project is a celebration of brewing history in North Carolina, bringing people into the area to celebrate history and beer and encouraging them to drop by their local breweries during their visit.

There have been a variety of internal funding sources for this project including the current Community-Engaged Pathways and Partnerships (P2) grant from the UNCG Institute for Community & Economic Engagement and the Office of Research and Engagement. The project is also partnering with the Bryan School of Business and Economics and several community partners on this grant.

If you or someone you know may have useful information regarding any of these projects please reach out to the ERIT at 336.334.5304. University Libraries’ faculty and staff  involved with these projects are listed below:
  • Digital Library on American Slavery: Richard Cox, David Gwyn, Dr. Claire Heckel, and Dr. Brian Robinson
  • Pride of the Community: David Gwyn and Stacey Krim
  • Well Crafted NC: Richard Cox, David Gwyn, and Erin Lawrimore
Written by Holly C. Shields.