COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Pretty soon, a person doing historic or genealogy studies thousands of miles away from South Carolina will be able to find what they're looking for in the state's libraries.
The South Carolina State Library is offering Digitization in a Box to the state's libraries to put their historic photos and documents online.
"Almost every public library in South Carolina has their own local history collection, their own South Carolina room, or someone who as donated photographs or other historical information about their community," said Digital Project Supervisor Amanda Stone. "A lot of times these small public libraries don't have the expertise to do anything with them."
Stone oversees the program, which provides the library with the equipment, software, and expertise to scan the documents and put them online so they are easy to find. Libraries get the service for two months, with an option for a third month.
So far, one library has taken advantage of the free program.
"We really believe that these local history rooms and local collections at public libraries are really, really important to researchers, not only in the state, but also across the country--anywhere in the world. By being able to put them online, anyone will have access to them," said SC State Library Communications Director Dr. Curtis Rogers.
The program allows smaller libraries from rural areas who may not have large budgets to put the information online so its searchable from anywhere.
"They would have to buy equipment," said Rogers. "They would have to have a staff dedicated to it. They would have to provide staff with training and we're able to provide that to them free of cost."
"Genealogists and researchers expect these sorts of materials to be online and when they don't find them, they assume they don't exist," said Stone.
"All the materials that get scanned through the Digitization in a Box project will also be uploaded and available in the South Carolina Digital Library, which is a statewide program where over 40 South Carolina institutions have made available over 300,000 items that are all searchable together," said Stone.
From the South Carolina Digital Library, the items are connected through the Digital Public Library of America, a nationwide portal for finding public history.
For more information about the program, click here. Or click here for information about the South Carolina Digital Library.