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NCpedia announces new historical content from UNC Libraries’ Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina

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“Clio, Muse of History”, Monument Unveiled at Guilford Battleground (Greensboro, NC), July 3, 1909. Monument is no longer standing.

“Clio, Muse of History”, Monument Unveiled at Guilford Battleground (Greensboro, NC), July 3, 1909. [Monument is no longer standing.]

The GHL is pleased to announce the publication of UNC Libraries’ Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina in NCpedia and to bring this unique historical publication to the NCpedia audience.

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina presents a digital publication based on a database of monuments, shrines, and commemorative public art from across North Carolina. It’s an excellent match for the NCpedia approach, with researched North Carolina history content supported by rich historical documentation. Like NCpedia, Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina provides source citations and links to web content and digitized historical records and images. This adds not only to the quality of the content but to the depth of the user’s experience in exploring the content. For NCpedia, partnership with Commemorative Landscapes represents the opportunity to add a substantial amount of historical content with the unique historical perspective of how North Carolinians have experienced and chosen to commemorate their history.

Supported by an IMLS grant from the State Library of North Carolina, Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina began in 2011 as a collaborative effort between the Department of History and the University Libraries at UNC-Chapel Hill. The grant funded the development of a digital collection and web publication of monuments from the landscape of 25 central Piedmont counties. Professor Fitz Brundage brought his idea for mapping the commemorative landscape of the state into his undergraduate history classrooms. Students researched existing and removed monuments and uncovered detailed historical information, including: monument creators, sponsorship, and cost; historic accounts of planning and fundraising; dedication and post-dedication events; the history of the subjects of the monuments; and descriptions of monument landscapes and geo-coordinates.

Guided by Natasha Smith at UNC’s Wilson Library, the library brought its expertise in digital humanities publishing, database development, and metadata standards along with its treasure trove of documentary items from the Library and the North Carolina Collection. Students and project staff located and digitized a range of objects, including manuscript materials, historic newspaper accounts, and postcard images of monuments. At the same time, historic publications and periodicals from UNC and Duke collections were scanned by the Internet Archive at these schools. These digitized objects were linked to published records for users to access and explore.

The publication went live in June 2012 with the launch of 25 counties. Since then research and mapping have continued at UNC as they expanded from the central Piedmont counties to the wider Piedmont, coastal plain, and, currently, to the mountain counties. Earlier this month, NCpedia launched its collaboration with Commemorative Landscapes with publication of 338 monument entries, comprised of 57 North Carolina counties and York County, SC. (York County represented monuments at Kings Mountain Battlefield which were placed on the landscape due to their importance to North Carolina history and, significantly, through the efforts of North Carolinians.)

Please visit Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina on NCpedia and explore the breadth of this unique view of North Carolina history!

–Kelly Agan, NCpedia Digital Media Librarian

Free Genealogy Workshop: Finding Your Female Ancestors

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Finding Your Female Ancestors

August 23, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Home Demonstration on Canning, Mrs. Jane McKimmon, ca. 1908-1917.  Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina

Home Demonstration on Canning, Mrs. Jane McKimmon, ca. 1908-1917.
Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina

This program will explore resources and practices in finding the women in your family tree using research tools and materials in the Government and Heritage Library and State Archives of North Carolina.


8 things you can do right now to preserve your digital files

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Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Make a list of your essential digital records.

Your “essential records” are the records that protect you and your family’s health, identity, and financial resources. These are the records that would be in your safety deposit box if they were paper, and they are the records you would first save in an emergency. Know what and where your digital essential records are. Tell another family member how to access them in an emergency.

Check your backups

Have you been backing your files up? If so, great! Go check your backups and see that everything is in its place, where you expect it to be. Open a few files and check that they are what you expect them to be and that you can still open them.

Organize your backups

If your backups have started feeling like your junk drawer, it may be is definitely time to organize them. Evolving backup systems may have left you with your digital materials spread out over several backups: hard drives, cloud backup, maybe even a few CDs. If it’s gotten so disorganized that you can’t find what you’re looking for easily, then your backups aren’t working the way they should.

Look for stray files

Try to think of where you might have any files that haven’t yet been backed up. Check your phone, your camera (the memory card and the camera itself), old thumb drives, your work computer.

Add your personal website to the Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is the free web archive of the non-profit Internet Archive. First check to see if your site is already in their archive. If it’s not, add it. Just make sure that you don’t have robots.txt or settings that don’t allow crawlers.

Clean your desktop, download folders

Everyone has their favorite place to send “miscellaneous” and temporary files. Files seem to just collect there, and once in, nothing gets deleted (kind of like the Pacific garbage patch). Be brave, clean it out.

Rename your files

If you haven’t already, come up with a file naming scheme and stick to it! Check out this best practices document or this online tutorial to help get you started.

Think of one more thing on your own (and do it)

Now that you’ve been spending so much time with your digital assets, you’re bound to have noticed at least one more thing you can do to better preserve them. This kind of analysis is great. It’s how we develop systems to keep our stuff in order.

NC County of the Week: Henderson County, NC

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This week’s North Carolina County of the Week is Henderson County, North Carolina! henderson

This week  (July 20 – 26) we’ll highlight the people, history, geography, and natural heritage of this county located in the mountains of North Carolina.

We’ll showcase the documentary history and collections of the Government & Heritage Library and our sister agencies in the Department of Cultural Resources and other heritage institutions throughout the state.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join in the conversation by using the hashtag #nccotw.  And don’t forget to visit us on Pinterest for our Henderson County board where we’ll showcase a range of historic images.


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