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AfriGeneas Genealogy Technology Forum

Lowcountry Digital Library

*Crossposted from afrigeneas@Lists.MsState.Edu

The College of Charleston announces the launch of the Lowcountry Digital
Library (LCDL), a collaborative effort to build a digital (online)
library with more than 50,000 items drawn from public and private
archives in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. The LCDL will make
unique and often rare items more broadly available for free to anyone in
the world. Other partners on this project are the Medical University of
South Carolina (MUSC), The Citadel, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the
Historic Charleston Foundation, Beaufort County Library and the
Charleston County Public Library.

"This is an important and ambitious project that allows for the sharing
of priceless historical documents through the use of cutting-edge
technology," College of Charleston President P. George Benson said. "I'm
pleased that the College of Charleston is spearheading this effort. This
project demonstrates how public-private partnerships can produce high
quality work that furthers scholarly research and inspires innovation.
Collaborations that tap a broad base of support and expertise help
public higher education operate more efficiently and reach larger

A $305,000 grant from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation will
enable the LCDL to grow from its current 7,000 images to 50,000 over the
next three years. One full-time project coordinator and two part-time
scanning technicians will be added to the project to facilitate the
process. All of the items in the LCDL are either about or housed in the

"It can take lifetimes to digitize collections," said John White,
project director. "Some documents that are handwritten or in another
language can take up to a year to transcribe. Then the documents still
need to be scanned and catalogued. Until now, we haven't had the
resources to dedicate to these historically relevant and interesting

"A digital library is absolutely essential for the Lowcountry," said
Jennifer Welch, assistant project director. "A digital library makes
fragile or original documents more widely available and opens the door
for research scholars to view materials to which they wouldn't have had
access. Users will be able to find documents without traveling between
several locations within the Lowcountry."

The technology used by LCDL is some of the best in the world. Documents
are easily searchable, are available in high resolution and are
transcribed for easy use.

Original Source
John White, PhD
Director -- Lowcountry Digital Library
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC=A0 29424

David Herr, Editor H-South
St. Andrews Presbyterian College
Laurinburg, NC

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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