The Caroline Digital History ProjectA Collaboration with the Caroline County Historical Society
Choptank River Heritage is a lead supporter of The Caroline Digital History Project, a new initiative of the Caroline County Historical Society.
More History for Everyone
The goal of the Project is to make more Caroline County history available to the public. The Project will do this by:
- Organizing and safeguarding the Society’s hardcopy research archives.
- Publishing a searchable digital index of the archives.
- Digitizing selected hardcopy resources.
- Providing access to online research, reports, and images.
- Ensuring safe storage of paper archives and cloud backup of digital archives.
- Engaging researchers and the public through social media outreach.
Integrating with National and Global Digital Archives
Smithsonian Magazine describes how physical collections of the biographies and family records of the African slave trade and the African-American experience are being digitized, indexed, and linked into a global network. This linkage will allow researchers to access individual histories for the first time, and also to carry out large-scale statistical studies and trend analysis.
The challenge … has been to move beyond the well-told stories of once-enslaved activists like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. The “linked open data” at the core of the Enslaved archive offers broader possibilities. “This project is so important … It could help us gain a greater understanding of how people weren’t just swept up in history, but how they spoke back to power, how they fought for their families. … Documentation [about less famous African-Americans] often exists, but it has not been … well cataloged and made searchable.”
– Smithsonian Magazine
Digitizing and indexing by the Caroline Digital History Project will produce both immediate results and later benefits. The expanding online index will allow the public to search from any computer or mobile device for names, places, and events to discover what resources exist in the Society’s physical archives. Access to the physical archive may be arranged by contacting the Society at Caroline.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Project is Already Under Way
The Society’s Archives Team of volunteers has spent hundreds of hours organizing and safeguarding the physical archives.
Choptank River Heritage volunteers are:
- Updating the CCHS website.
- Prototyping a searchable online research database.
- Safeguarding research documents with online (cloud) backup.
- Digitizing CCHS print material for sharing online.
- Setting up email service for a newsletter, calls to action, and event announcements.
- Integrating website, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media for outreach to younger audiences.
CDHP/CCHS volunteers meet weekly at the Heritage Center in Denton to organize and prepare the physical archives for indexing and digitizing.
How You Can Help
Join the archive volunteers.
Sign up to be a CCHS writer-blogger, photojournalist, or storyteller.
Contribute your web publishing, social media, or IT expertise.
Donate $10 or more to The Caroline Digital History Project to purchase archive cabinets, online storage, and web hosting fees.
Contact us: Caroline.email@example.com
Researcher Pat Guida and Society President JOK Walsh together have produced a rich collection of research about Caroline County’s history and cultural heritage.