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End of year gift for fans of North Carolina history, heritage and culture: NCpedia’s new website goes live today!

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End of year gift for fans of North Carolina history, heritage and culture: NCpedia’s new website goes live today!

Greetings old friends of North Carolina’s online encyclopedia, the NCpedia — and new and future friends too!

The new and improved NCpedia! December 2016.

The new and improved NCpedia! December 2016.

After several months of planning, design, programming and testing, NCpedia now has a brand new and updated user interface as of this morning. Same great content — no change there — but with an entirely new look and feel and user experience.

The site traces its history back before the dawn of the web, to frequently asked questions and then brochures created by librarians at the State Library to answer those questions.

Eventually those questions found their way into HTML pages in the 1990s, and then they coalesced into an encyclopedic collection called the eNCyclopedia.  By 2009, the content had grown to several hundred pages — and the site needed to find a new home in a content management system that allowed for expansion, search and a better user experience. The encyclopedia got a new home in Drupal and a new name — and NCpedia was launched.

NCpedia before the reno!

NCpedia before the reno!

Since that time, the content has expanded by more than 26,000 entries, including more than 6,500 encyclopedia articles and the more than 20,000 record volume of the North Carolina Gazetteer (an annotated index of North Carolina place names).  And more than 7,400 images have been incorporated along with maps and interactive features like timelines.  By 2015, it was time for the home to get a reno!

NCpedia is still in Drupal — but the site has received an entire remodel to improve usability, search and find features, and the overall user experience.  We hope you like it!

And if you would like more information about the history of NCpedia, please visit the “About NCpedia” page on the website: http://www.ncpedia.org/about.  We’ve even included some snapshots of the early days and how far the digital encyclopedia has come.  Today the site includes more than 7,000 articles and more than 7,400 images and receives more than 4 million visits per year.

Check it out!

Kelly Agan, Digital Projects Librarian

Digital Collections: North Carolina Newspapers

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bundle of newspapers

Newspapers are important to genealogical and historical research. Genealogists often use them to look for obituaries, but there is so much more. They provide a snapshot into the lives and times of our ancestors – events that were happening that affected their lives. I’ve talked about Nineteenth Century Newspapers, Newspaper Archive, and Black Historical Newspapers in 2015, and more recently, using Newspaper.com.

Today, I’d like to highlight a digital collection of North Carolina Newspapers – The North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project. In 2009, the State Archives of North Carolina completed digitizing newspapers in their collection with dates ranging from 1751 through 1898.

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New Look for NCpedia! Help us test a preview!

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NCpedia Redesign New Home Page. Click on the image for a preview.

NCpedia Redesign New Home Page. Click on the image for a preview.

New Look for NCpedia!  Help us test a preview!

NCpedia will still have the same great content and features, no changes there. The redesign gives the site an entirely new look and feel, with enhanced features for browsing and discovery.

Over the past five years NCpedia has undergone tremendous growth, all thanks to the contributions of many contributors and content partners that have included:  the University of North Carolina Press, the Research Branch of North Carolina’s Office of Archives and History, the North Carolina Museum of History and the Tar Heel Junior Historian magazine, the University of North Carolina libraries, and many, many others.

This incredible growth prompted us to evaluate many aspects of the website, including its “look and feel”, responsiveness, and discovery features. We’ve come up with an all new design and it’s now in the test phase.  Please visit the new site, explore its features and share with us what you think by completing a short, anonymous survey.  You’ll find a link to the survey at the top of the home page (just click on the text). The survey will remain open until 5:00 PM EST on Friday, November 11, 2016.  And the new site will go “live” soon!

NCpedia is managed by the State Library of North Carolina’s Government & Heritage Library and is hosted online by NC LIVE.  To learn more about NCpedia, please visit the site’s “About NCpedia” page.

Thanks for your help with making NCpedia better!!

— Kelly Agan, North Carolina Government & Heritage Library

Digital Collections: New Additions – State Parks

ncstateparksguide_1965
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ncstateparksguide_1954 ncstateparksguide_1957

In celebration of the North Carolina State Park Centennial, several State Parks publications are available in the Government and Heritage Library’s State Government Publications digital collection.

These Division of Parks and Recreation publications include:

stateparksplan_combined

Materials range from the 1950s to the 2000s and highlight the storied history of North Carolina’s natural parks, including their initial planning and development and their growth over time.

To learn more about the State Park Centennial and special events in celebration of the past 100 years, visit NC Parks – Celebrate Our Centennial.

To explore the history of North Carolina State Parks, please visit NCpedia’s state parks collection and NCpedia’s 100 year state parks timeline.

ncstateparksguide_1965

1965 Guide to NC State Parks

Please email andrea.green@ncdcr.gov with any questions about these new additions to the North Carolina Digital Collections.

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This blog is a service of the State Library of North Carolina, part of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Blog comments and posts may be subject to Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.