Roswell Community Digitization Event a Success

Charles Grogan, patron and Juliette Johnson, volunteer
Charles Grogan, patron and Juliette Johnson, volunteer

The Roswell Historical Society/City of Roswell Research Library and Archives wanted to promote a digitization event for members of the community to submit photographs and records that documented the history of the area. In order to make sure that the event was conducted using best archival practices, the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) was engaged to provide a training session for the staff, interns, and volunteers of the Roswell Historical Society in preparation for the event. During the course of this 4-hour workshop, the participants learned about copyrights, proper handling and digitization of the material, and metadata creation. The information that the DLG staff provided was first-rate. Supplemental material and suggestions for scanning equipment was most helpful. The actual scanning event took place in November of 2018, and the Society continues to encourage the community to share their treasures by appointment. Our digitization program is well-established due to the support that we received from DLG.

"Baptism performed by Rev. Joshua Grogan at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, circa 1920"
Baptism performed by Rev. Joshua Grogan at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, circa 1920


The DLG continues to be an invaluable support resource for the Roswell Historical Society as we prepare our metadata and images from the event to be uploaded to their site. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with them to make our collections accessible to a wider audience.

–Elaine DeNiro, Archivist, Roswell Historical Society/City of Roswell Research Library and Archives


Digitizing and Describing Moving Image Content Reaches New Users

I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve heard or read the phrase “I saw it in the Civil Rights Digital Library and I’m wondering if…” all I know is it has been a lot. The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) is a digital portal that is part of a partnership between the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) and my department, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection (BMA) at the University of Georgia Libraries that has lasted for over 10 years now. About 30 hours worth of content from the BMA’s WSB and WALB Newsfilm collections were digitized and described for that project.

The impact to BMA of having digital content out there via the DLG has been profound. I believe it has truly changed one of the ways people find us. To have our content go out through the DLG and then through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) which launched in 2013 can be seen in our use statistics. I know not every request for content comes to us at BMA, because content is discovered through these portals, but I’m guessing some do– having items in DLG and DPLA just makes people aware that we exist and might have content they are interested in. We have continued to digitize newsfilm content over the years, so now there are over 12,000 clips available to view online and share through the DLG.

In 2009, we had 152 requests for content from BMA to be digitized or used for viewing by students, faculty, general researchers, and producers. In 2017, that number grew to 1173 items, an increase of 671%. Ten years ago, getting the content together for digitization was challenging, now, it is something we do every day because we have the equipment and tools to do the work in-house. In the age of YouTube and Netflix, most users expect online access to audiovisual content and that is what we aim to provide.

Working with the DLG has been incredibly beneficial. We’ve had content digitized, but we’ve also had content described, and to me that has been a huge value to us. In some ways the digitization is the easier part because it can be outsourced to a vendor or we can digitize for ourselves, but because we are small department the need for describing the content is where we need the most help. Most recently we have been working with the DLG on home movie and town film collections from Georgia through one of their subgrant awards. This labor intensive, crucially important work to provide description is the only way to be able to find the content accurately. Describing content requires analysis, some historical perspective, and an eye for detail, and the DLG does that very well. For the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection, collaborating with the Digital Library of Georgia has always been a win-win.

–Ruta Abolins, Director,  Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

Featured image: Still image from WSB-TV newsfilm clip of mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. escorting Coretta Scott King away from Hartsfield International Airport immediately after learning about the death of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta, Georgia, 1968 April 4