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Trustees of Davidson College (Davidson, NC 28035-7149)
Caitlin Christian-Lamb (Project Director: May 2015 to September 2017)
Davidson College Archives and Special Collections Comprehensive Preservation Plans

Preservation assessments of the physical and digital collections related to Davidson College and the southeastern United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.  The organization’s digital collections include 58 born-digital films, 3,500 digitized photographs, 20 born-digital audio files, dozens of digitized manuscript letters, diaries, and college-related documents, and 8 digitized special collections.  Physical collections include 30,000 catalogued prints, 950 manuscript and archival collections, 700 objects, a 1,000-item audiovisual media collection, and 2,000 rare items.  Highlights include Under Lake Norman, a community crowdsourcing and curricular project chronicling the history and personal recollections of the creation of Lake Norman by flooding thousands of acres of farmland, an Arabic-language Bible owned by Omar Ibn Sayyid, an African Muslim slave living in 19th-century North Carolina, oral histories documenting the history of the region and town, and a collection of rare items related to Presbyterian Church history.  These materials are used widely in teaching and community outreach, including an active crowdsourced digitization project, and collaborative scholarship.  This would be the first preservation assessment for this institution.

The Davidson College Archives and Special Collections holdings include historic and rare items related to Davidson as well as North Carolina and the southeastern US in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collections exist in both physical and digital formats, and are used extensively for pedagogy, research and community outreach. Preservation efforts have been ad hoc, and comprehensive assessment is needed to ensure the continued utility of, and access to, these important humanities collections, especially as usage demands increase and born-digital objects resulting from the infusion of digital humanities in the curriculum expand. A consultant from the Northeast Document Conservation Center will be engaged to conduct concurrent physical and digital preservation assessments. Subsequently, a suite of short- and long-term plans and policies for preserving these diverse collections will be developed and implemented within the context of the institution-wide Academic Neighborhood initiative.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General; Public History; Social Sciences, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017