“Digitizing Local History Sources” Project Enters its Third Year

By: Dr. Greg Hunter

The Palmer School of Library and Information Science is in the third year of the “Digitizing Local History Sources (DLHS) Project,” which is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.  The project is directed by Dr. Gregory S. Hunter, Professor and Director of the Certificate of Advanced Study in Archives and Records Management (CARM).

The goal of the project is to digitize historical materials found in local communities across Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  Since 2017, the Palmer School has assisted 35 local historical societies.  Our goal is to help 80 historical societies by 2022.

The Gardiner Foundation funding enabled the Palmer School to establish an on-campus Digitization Lab with state-of-the-art equipment. The School also purchased six mobile digitization units for scanning materials in local communities.  To date, DLHS has digitized over 40,000 images totaling 10 terabytes of data.  Digitization meets the highest professional standards and images are stored in Preservica, a world-leading cloud-based digital preservation system.

Project activities are conducted by Palmer School students, who receive the practical, hands-on experience that will be essential for their careers as archivists and librarians.  Master’s students scan historical documents and create basic descriptive information about the materials.  Ph.D. students perform quality control and image editing tasks, as well as refine the descriptive information create by the master’s students.  To date, the Palmer School has awarded 60 Gardiner Foundation Fellowships totaling $445,000.

The Palmer School of Library and Information Science has been part of the local community since 1959.  Digitizing Local History Sources is deepening the partnerships that have long been a hallmark of the school.  For additional information see:  www.liu.edu/dlhs