Thursday, October 07, 2004

The New Jersey Digital Highway

Yesterday I wrote about the HistoryMakers, which was discussed at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. Today I want to talk about the other project that was presented in the same session.

The New Jersey Digital Highway is striving to be the one portal needed to locate New Jersey's heritage collections. As the web site states:
The New Jersey Digital Highway (NJDH) is a new way to explore our history and culture. The Highway will bring together digitized versions of historical and cultural treasures from our libraries, museums, and historical collections. The result will be a digital archive of documents, photographs, 3-dimensional objects and sound and video recordings that you can either browse or search depending on your interest. NJDH will also provide virtual field trips and other digital activities for exploring and experiencing New Jersey.

The homepage gives users an opportunity to enter the site in a way that will make sense for them. They can enter through virtual on-ramps for everyone, educators, students and librarians/curators. Of interest to people involved in digitization projects will be the information provided for librarians and curators. Here is information on "metadata and digitization best practices, including workflow design and developing a business model for a digitization project." There are links to other resources including online forums for librarians and curators who are involved in the project.

Some of the site is still under construction, but it is worth taking a moment to explore and then note what features are coming.

As a person who has lived in both Pennsylvania and New York, I think the name of the site is wonderful! We joke that people in New Jersey talk about where they live by noting which exit they use on the New Jersey Turnpike or Garden State Parkway to get home. (Actually, I have heard people really do this.) Here is a site that takes that image and turns it into a huge positive. Very cool!

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