The North Carolina Digital Collections (and why Civil War aficionados should be excited about it)

Today has been a very busy day and I expect that the rest of this week will be even busier, because today was the official launch of the North Carolina Digital Collections website. (Go here for the official announcement of the launch.) Those of you who are longtime followers of this blog or our main blog, History For All the People, have seen links to and hints about portions of this project for the last few months. If you ever followed one of my links to a newly digitized Civil War letter or a “sneak peek” to our revamped “Carolina Christmas” or “Treasures” exhibits, then you have seen a bit of the North Carolina Digital Collections project.

The North Carolina Digital Collections (NCDC) is a joint project of the North Carolina State Archives and State Library of North Carolina to give users a more streamlined experience when searching for digital images, publications, or other documents. The new website allows you to keyword search across all of our digital collections from one location or choose which collections you’d like to search using the Advanced Search page. All of the State Library’s digital repository is currently available through the NCDC, many of our online projects are also available, and we plan to add more materials in 2011.

The most important part of this news for those of you interested in the Civil War Sesquicentennial is that all of the items that we digitize as part of the nationwide, four-year focus on the Civil War will also be available through the North Carolina Digital Collections. Currently the State Library is scanning regimental histories which they are adding online in a Civil War digital collection portion of the NCDC; in that same digital collection, we in the State Archives are adding Civil War letters that have been transcribed by a group of linguistics students studying 19th century conversational English, as well as a series of documents selected by the Archives Civil War 150 Committee.

So, as I said, there are a lot of big things and busy days in the near future. If you get a chance, please check out the website and let us know what you think.

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