Surry Community College Library receives grant to preserve local history through a digitization project


Staff Report



DOBSON — The Surry Community College Library recently received a grant from the State Library of North Carolina that will capture and preserve Surry County historical documents for future generations.

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant awarded to SCC will be used to provide funding for an exciting county-wide project coordinated by the SCC Library. The project, Surry County Digital Heritage (SCDH) is envisioned as a way to locate and identify materials in collections in libraries and other locations in Surry County that will be digitized by the college.

The $16,000 grant will be used to fund the planning portion of the county-wide project to digitize materials relating to the history of Surry County.

Dr. David Wright, associate dean of Learning Resources at the SCC Library, explained the importance and benefit of the project by saying, “There are many historical materials scattered around the county in libraries and in private collections that are not currently available to someone doing an Internet search.”

Surry’s Library aims to use this project to preserve oral histories, family history files, maps and other materials pertaining to the county’s past in order to make them accessible to all for generations to come.

The SCDH digitization process will be a three-year effort beyond that of the initial planning year for which the grant is being used. The library will utilize the expertise of consultant Tom Clareson of LYRASIS in Atlanta as a means of gaining recommendations for the extent of the project, equipment needed, data storage recommendations, and staffing needs. A great deal of the LSTA grant will be used to cover the cost of Clareson’s time and travel expenses.

The SCC Library plans to seek further funding for the future phases of the digitization project through the State Library of North Carolina, as well. The planning process is crucial to the future of the project as it serves as a means of assurance to grant makers that SCC’s Library is committed to the project and has a legitimate, feasible timeline for accomplishing the project’s goal.

Surry’s Library will be scheduling meetings throughout the county from Aug. 9 through Aug. 12 to educate residents about the project and to seek out potential materials for digitization.

Wright is looking forward to getting the project underway and has high hopes for its success.

He said, “We have a rich history here in Surry County, and I believe this project will not only be able to document the history of the county, but create new knowledge about our past.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the grant should contact Wright at [email protected] or 336-386-3252.

Staff Report

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