Georgia will be one of seven states involved in a pilot project to make content in archives and special collections searchable and freely available.
The Digital Public Library of America will be using $1 million in funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to move forward with the initiative.
State libraries and regional digital library collaboratives in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah will be the first to participate as service hubs in the pilot effort, according to a release from the Knight Foundation.
Eventually, users will be able to search across these local collections, finding information on a topic -- such as the Civil War -- from records across the country. Organizers will also test ways to engage communities in creating content for the archives.
Libraries and archives contain vast repositories of their communitys everyday history, a rich past with local and national resonance. Digitizing, categorizing and sharing these cultural assets electronically helps libraries in their evolution from information storehouses into dynamic hubs using history to create content and engage the community, said George Martinez, director of information technology at the Knight Foundation, said in the release.
The seven pilot sites will digitize thousands of items at each hub location. Trainers will teach staff how to categorize the digitized materials.
The Digital Public Library of America is scheduled to launch a prototype in April 2013 that will make hundreds of thousands of digital items available to the public.