About the Project
In 2004, the North Carolina State Archives, the State Library of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Museum of History were awarded an LSTA grant through the NC ECHO project to create a World War I virtual collection. The selected resources included cataloged printed books and documents, letters, diaries, photographs, clips from audio interviews, and artifacts, such as uniforms and weapons from the U. S. Army 30th and 81st Divisions, in which a large number of North Carolinians served. The purpose of the project was to unite these varied resources in cohesive and searchable formats that would be useful to the K-12 community, as well as to scholars of the World War I time period. The partners also wanted to test uniting different types of metadata (MARC, EAD, and XML) in one search process.
The State Library served as the lead agent in overseeing the grant implementation. Library staff digitized printed materials from its collection; designed, constructed, and solicited feedback on the front end of the project website; updated cataloging records to reflect digital copies and related images; and create and distribute publicity materials.
State Archives staff digitized images of diaries, letters, maps, personal and military papers, unit rosters, and photographs; hired a temporary half-time archivist to produce digital images of original material; and ensure that all images and metadata meet archival standards. They also took the lead in bringing the different types of metadata into a single search process.
North Carolina Museum of History staff photographed and made available to the public for the first time digital images of many items in its World War I collection. Digital images of and historical data on each artifact related to the 30th and 81st Divisions are presented to the public through the Web interface component of the Re:discovery database. This database allows the import and export of bibliographic data using the MARC electronic interchange format, as well as the export of collection data in SGML/XML format in support of EAD. In addition, the museum's historian wrote the historical background information for the project website.[Top]