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Grant number: PG-233656-16

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Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC 28723)
Mark Stoffan (Project Director: May 2015 to present)

A Digital Preservation Assessment for Hunter Library

A preservation assessment of digital collections produced by the university library along with an on-site workshop for staff on digital preservation.  The sources include several thousand digitized photographs, letters, sound recordings, material culture objects, and other items maintained by the library’s Special Collections unit.  Among the highlights are over 300 images of Cherokee art and audio recordings of the Cherokee language, 70 Civil War letters, 2,000 samples of Appalachian craft arts, and 300 radio programs containing life stories of Great Smoky Mountain residents from the 1920s to the present.  These digitized materials have been actively used by scholars, students, and others, including filmmaker Ken Burns, for his documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

Hunter Library has 12 digital collections focusing on the humanities. These include substantial material on Appalachian history and culture, Civil War correspondence, the life of woodsman Horace Kephart, and the social history of western North Carolina. These collections are used heavily by humanities scholars across a number of disciplines, including historians, anthropologists, and students of native Cherokee culture. Long-term preservation of these important digital collections is not assured. The library proposes to work with Tom Clareson, a consultant and trainer for LYRASIS, who has consulted with other institutions on similar projects. The consultant will survey staff and assess the library's need for digital preservation, provide a staff workshop, and complete a report with an outline of a digital preservation plan. Hunter Library staff will use the report as a basis for preparing a 5-year digital preservation plan as mandated in Hunter Library's Strategic Plan, 2012-2020.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017