NC ECHO Project Makes Local History Searchable, Accessible Online

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2013

NC ECHO Project Makes Local North Carolina History Searchable, Accessible Online

Connects Local History Collections Across North Carolina With Single Search Box

RALEIGH, NC – Researchers and history buffs alike may now search and access local history collections across North Carolina with a single search box thanks to a collaborative project led by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, NC LIVE, and the State Library of North Carolina.

NC ECHO, available at http://ncecho.org, has been updated in order to expand access to unique local heritage collections previously scattered across a multitude of websites and North Carolina institutions. NC ECHO enables users to search across thousands of digitized and “born-digital” historic materials, including a wide variety of books, photographs, maps, family histories, state documents, newspapers and other materials from cultural heritage institutions around North Carolina. The collections available through NC ECHO include a diverse array of materials by and about the people, places and history of North Carolina.

The previous NC ECHO program was managed by the State Library of North Carolina from 1999-2012, with the intent of identifying and digitizing local cultural heritage collections. The newly revived NC ECHO program continues with the same spirit, to build connections and improve access to these collections of historic materials.

Over the coming year, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center will continue to work with cultural institutions across North Carolina to add new materials to this statewide search. “This project shows how libraries, archives, and museums are working together to share their historical photo and document collections with all North Carolinians,” said Cal Shepard, State Librarian of North Carolina. “The NC ECHO website will unlock unique and important historical materials by making them easy to find and use for everyday researchers.”

Staff at libraries across the state have eagerly awaited the launch of the new NC ECHO project because it will dramatically improve service to patrons researching local history. “By including content from over 100 different institutions across North Carolina, NC ECHO makes it easier than ever for students, scholars, and genealogists to find the materials they need,” said Nicholas Graham, Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. “NC ECHO is the new first stop for anyone interested in North Carolina.”

To use NC ECHO, patrons can visit http://ncecho.org, and search based on historical interests, places, or people. All of the collections available through the NC ECHO search are freely available online to all users, regardless of their location or affiliation.

About NC ECHO

NC ECHO enables users to search across thousands of digitized and born-digital historic materials, including a wide variety of books, photographs, maps, family histories, state documents, newspapers, and much more from cultural heritage institutions across North Carolina. The collections available through NC ECHO include a diverse array of materials by and about the people, places, and history of North Carolina. All of the collections available through the NC ECHO Search are freely available online to all users, regardless of their location or affiliation. The NC ECHO Search was developed by staff at NC LIVE, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, and the State Library of North Carolina. It is hosted and maintained by NC LIVE.

About NC LIVE

NC LIVE is a consortium of the state’s 201 public and academic libraries dedicated to helping North Carolina libraries in their efforts to support education, enhance statewide economic development, and improve the quality of life of their communities. Through North Carolina libraries, NC LIVE offers free access to electronic resources for all ages on topics ranging from business, careers and investing, to auto repair, health, history and genealogy. NC LIVE eBooks, magazines, newspapers, journals, videos, and other materials are available online from any Internet connection via North Carolina library websites, and through www.nclive.org. Contact your local public, community college, or academic library for free access to NC LIVE resources. For more information, please visit www.nclive.org.

About State Library of North Carolina

The State Library of North Carolina is a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources and works in partnership with communities to develop library service, coordinates statewide programs for all types of libraries, and offers direct library service to state employees, genealogy researchers, and people who have visual and physical handicaps.

About North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is a statewide digitization and digital publishing program housed in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Digital Heritage Center works with cultural heritage institutions across North Carolina to digitize and publish historic materials online. The Digital Heritage Center provides libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions with the opportunity to promote and increase access to their collections through digitization. The Center is supported by the State Library of North Carolina, with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library and Services and Technology Act, and by the UNC-Chapel Hill University Library.

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Media Contact:
Jill Morris
Assistant Director
NC LIVE
NCSU Libraries, CB #7111
Raleigh, NC 27695
919.513.0447
jill@nclive.org

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