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JSU's Cole Library and Anthropology Program Participate in Statewide Digitization Grant

9 August 2004 -- Jacksonville State University's Houston Cole Library and the university's anthropology program are participating in the statewide Cornerstone Project to digitize unique collections and make them accessible on the Internet.

The Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL) administers the Cornerstone Project, which is supported by a $493,480 federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is a federal grant-making agency dedicated to helping libraries and museums serve their communities.

Houston Cole Library's contribution is the Harry Strange Collection of Alabamiana, a unique collection of documents and maps relating to the early history of the state.

JSU's anthropology program, which is a part of the Department of Physical and Earth Sciences, is digitizing primary source documents of the Alabama Creek reservations allotted by the Treaty of 1832, currently held by the National Archives in Atlanta.

In addition to the two digitization projects, JSU has taken a leadership role in training participants. The library recently held workshops on scanning and creating metadata (descriptive catalogs), which drew praise from the director of NAAL, who said he “thought the Cornerstone workshops on July 20 at Jacksonville State University were excellent. The computer lab is outstanding — if I have the choice, we will do all workshops there.”

Both the library and anthropology program are pleased to be involved in this effort to preserve and showcase Alabama 's unique treasures, according to William Hubbard, university librarian.

The Cornerstone Project's objectives include:

• Establishing a management oversight coalition to develop the statewide digital program and coordinate its implementation.

• Working with repositories of all types to develop long-range plans and implement strategies to assure unique materials are digitized and made available via the World Wide Web.

• Developing and implementing a statewide training program to assure that librarians, archivists, and other staff attain the knowledge and skills to successfully plan, initiate, and complete digitization projects.

• Establishing two new shared-use digitization facilities to join the Department of Archives and History to support locally based digitization and serve as training centers for the project.

• Creating 15,000 digital objects for the initial project focus, The Alabama Course of Study Social Studies with emphasis on Alabama and U.S. History (see Alabama Moments at ).

•Working with the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) governing council and the Alabama Supercomputer Authority to enhance access to the digital collection and to integrate the Project into the AVL.


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