State Library supports Local History Digital Resources Project
California State Library, through an effective program called the Local History
Digital Resources Project (LHDRP), offers grants to local libraries that want to
digitize their special collections. The
LHDRP supports staff member attendance at digitizing trainings. It gives
libraries access to a cataloging tool. It provides scanning services for
200 images and it allows $5000 for project costs.
than 40 public, academic and special libraries have participated in the LHDRP
since 1999. Today, California library staff from Modoc to Calexico are
digitizing their manuscripts, photographs, and works of art and over 18,000 of
California’s historic items are on one website, accessible to users worldwide.
Because of the skills staff have gained through LHDRP, students,
journalists, genealogists, and web surfers can view, save, and print California
rarities such as Marin County Free
Library’s postcard of a 1905 Kentfield
real estate office that they couldn’t access before.
about LHDRP from people in California’s library community has been positive.
Susan Jones of the Southern California
Library for Social Studies and Research says, “The experience gained by
participating in the Local History Digital Resources Project has proven
essential to our efforts in moving forward in this digital direction.” Anji
Brenner of Mill Valley Public Library
says, “Our [Mill Valley Public Library] Foundation is using our [digitization]
project as a springboard for securing an endowment to assure … funding for
digitizing the [library’s] entire collection.” And Donna Golden of the Chula
Vista Public Library remarks that LHDRP allowed the library to start
digitizing its collection “by supplying training and supplies for the Local
History Librarian and Library Technician.”
other states have created statewide digitization projects that incorporate state
portals to their content, LHDRP differs in that it leverages an existing
statewide access point for historical material associated with the premier state
supported academic institution, the University of California.
The expertise of university staff enables even the smallest library to
provide enriched statewide access to their digital collection using the most
current search and retrieval technologies.
users can access California libraries’ digitized items through a single
interface on Calisphere which the University of California’s California
Digital Library (CDL) hosts. CDL collaborates with the California
State Library to provide technical assistance to libraries on digitization, and
to publish and preserve the digitized collections. The Calisphere web site
is available at: http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/institutions.html.
Though the Calisphere gateway is specifically tailored to the K-12 community and
includes California Curriculum standards as a basis of arrangement, visitors can
search the entire collection as well.
Institute of Museum and Library Services provides the funds for the Project
through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant administered in
California by the State Librarian.
more information about the Local History Digital Resources Project,
please contact Ira Bray, Technology Consultant, Library Development Services,
California State Library at 916-653-0171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.