During the past two days the North Carolina State Archives and the State Historical Records Advisory Board sponsored a conference in Raleigh: “From Theory to Practice: Accessing and Preserving Electronic Records and Digital Materials.” Originally, Audra was lined up to talk about Digital Forsyth in the cultural repositories track session on “Economics: The True Costs of Managing a Digital Project.” When she headed west, she asked me to step in for her, which I was happy to do, having managed this grant budget for the three years of the project. Here is my presentation if you are interested:
Unfortunately, between ZSR obligations and school commitments, I wasn’t able to take advantage and attend the conference except for the session where I was presenting. I did share the session with Jane Blackburn, who is director of Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount. She talked about a project they started 9 years ago that involved a very unique collection of 500,000 photographic negatives (from 1948-2001) by a local photographer (Charles Killebrew). The images span his career as a photographer and primarily were taken in Nash and Edgecombe counties of North Carolina. Her presentation was a cautionary tale, as they took it on without a plan, a budget or staff and in spite of local politics, restrictions from the donor and no funding. However, the collection was in danger of being lost through improper storage and preservation. To date, they have successfully digitized and described over 100o of the images and you can tell how fabulous the Killebrew Collection is. Now that the donor (Killebrew) has died, the gift stipulations that were in place are removed and they can finally look for the right grant to move the digitization forward.