| Table of Contents | Introduction | The New York Public Library's Digital Historical Projects | Planning Digital Projects for Historical Collections | Conclusion |

The New York Public Library's Digital History Projects

In recent years, The New York Public Library has initiated a number of digital projects to make its extensive historic collections more accessible to the public and more widely used in research and education. Library staff have participated in the promulgation of standards and guidelines for this rapidly evolving technology, and borrowed from the guidlines developed elsewhere, in particular those developed in the National Digital Library Program at the Library of Congress.

View from the Mountain House, Catskill, from Nathaniel Parker Willis, American Scenery; or, land, lake, and river illustrations of transatlantic nature. From drawings by W.H. Bartlett... (London: George Virtue, 1840). U.S. History, Local History and Genealogy Division, The New York Public Library



To learn more about the digital projects undertaken by The New York Public Library, log on to its website at http://www.nypl.org/online.html.

Some of these projects have focused on collections that can be described as archival groupings, such as the personal papers of important figures in American theatre or the photographs of Lewis Hine and Berenice Abbott. Other projects have digitized collections that represent accumulated sets within a single genre or category, such as the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, or African American women writers of the nineteenth century. In 1998, with funding from the New York State Education Department's Electronic Doorway Library Program, The New York Public Library embarked on a larger project: to create a special compilation of related materials documenting the Hudson River's significant role in the history of transportation and travel in America during the nineteenth century, including the pictorial and literary "views" that the experience fostered. Entitled "Travels Along the Hudson," the project was to create a digital archive of a broad spectrum of books, visual art, manuscripts, and ephemera. It is from this hands-on experience with historical collections that the following primer for planning digital projects is presented.

 

 

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| Table of Contents | Introduction | The New York Public Library's Digital Historical Projects |
| Planning Digital Projects for Historical Collections | Conclusion |
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S. Ruddy 08/12/99