Tonight I did a presentation at North Suburban Library System (NSLS) in Wheeling, IL (northwest of Chicago). Although the presentation wasn't digitization related, I learned that NSLS is involved in a statewide digitization program called Digital Past. The web site says:
Digital Past is a local history digitization initiative undertaken by libraries, historical societies, museums, and other cultural venues throughout Illinois in partnership with the North Suburban Library System (NSLS) in Wheeling, Illinois. It began in 1998 with a grant from the Illinois State Library and has become a popular resource for researchers of all ages and interests including schoolchildren, genealogists, historians, authors, producers, and special interest groups. Digital Past contains collections from over 30 institutions of varying topics and formats including 55,000+ records in over 100 collections.member libraries. Along the way, it received help and support from Northwestern University. The project began by digitizing 15 separate collections of historical documents held by NSLS. Funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and Institute for Museum and Library Services has supported some of the of the individual collections that are part of this program.
The web site displays the digital assets in CONTENTdm and in online exhibits. The online exhibits, which are web pages, allow institutions to display materials with additional information that provides needed context or to group the items together in a more meaningful way.
I suspect that this history that I want to know is on the NSLS web site and contained in the articles and other pages about the project. (Some of it articles written by program participants.) I am curious to know how they grew the funding for the project, how they fostered cooperation, and how they are thinking about long term maintenance. Who know...perhaps Kay Schlumpf, Digital Past Coordinator, will leave a quick comment here with some hints! (They'd be useful to many people, I bet.)
Technorati tag: Digitization