Jan. 13, 2017
There is something new to see on the campus. Two things, really — history lessons in white and black. A year and a half after a spring punctuated with the protests that students of color...Read More
Jan. 15, 2016
Life often was a struggle for Bayard Wootten, and for many of her subjects, as she pursued early 20th-century photography on her own terms. The north-facing windows above 142 E. Franklin St. were modified, long...Read More
Sept. 4, 2015
A class sweater, a dress purchased on Franklin Street — a piece of clothing that captures the essence of your years at Carolina. Would you be willing to donate or lend it to the North...Read More
Speeches that U.S. presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy delivered at the University, recordings of Beat Generation poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti ’41, performances by North Carolina icons Andy Griffith ’49 and Doc Watson, and street scenes filmed across North Carolina in the 1930s are among the items that global audiences and researchers soon will be able to hear and view online.
The three-year grant is the largest ever made to the University libraries. It will address collections from the SFC and other parts of the Wilson Special Collections Library as well as at six partner institutions across the state.
“Support from the Mellon Foundation has allowed Carolina’s libraries to take a leading role in preserving our nation’s fragile audiovisual heritage,” said Elaine Westbrooks, vice provost for University Libraries and University librarian. “We are grateful for the foundation’s continued investment in our work.”
Steve Weiss, curator of the SFC, said that the grant builds on two prior Mellon Foundation grants. The first enabled his team to investigate the challenges of preserving audiovisual materials on a large scale. With the second, they tested their proposed approach using the collections of the SFC.
Historic audiovisual collections are uniquely problematic for archives and libraries, Weiss said. Film and magnetic media deteriorate rapidly. Specialized expertise and equipment are required to play and preserve fragile recordings. The challenge is especially urgent for archives like the SFC, which is home to more than 300,000 recordings used by researchers, performers, instructors, students and music fans.
“We are one of only a handful of institutions in the country positioned to do this kind of work on a large scale,” Weiss said.
The SFC will partner with six institutions through the N.C. Digital Heritage Center, a statewide digitization and publishing program based at Wilson. The State Archives of North Carolina, the Southern Appalachian Archives at Mars Hill University and the Forest History Society in Durham also have committed to work with the SFC.
The library will hire two audio engineers and two audiovisual assistants to manage audio preservation and digitization at its studio in Wilson, as well as a software developer. A specialized contractor will handle film and video materials.