Awards and Honors, Digital Library, North Carolina Collection, North Carolina History

North Carolina Digital Heritage Center Wins Award for Excellence

North Carolina’s leading genealogy society has recognized the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center at UNC for providing “a treasure trove of freely accessible materials” for the use of genealogists and historians.

On Oct. 3, the North Carolina Genealogical Society awarded the Center one of its 2015 “Awards for Excellence in Web Presence for a freely accessible website promoting North Carolina genealogy.”


Lisa Gregory and Nicholas Graham copy pages from an 1850 hotel registry from Stanley County in the N.C. Digital Heritage Center at Carolina. Photo courtesy of the University Gazette.

Lisa Gregory, digital projects librarian, accepted the award on behalf of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (DigitalNC), which is based in the North Carolina Collection of UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library.

From the Society’s award presentation:

“The free website is very professional, well laid-out, and easily navigated. The website provides users with both search and browse features for access to the wealth of digitized original historic materials from libraries, archives, and museums from around the state. The website includes large collections of city directories, newspapers, yearbooks, and photographs. Included in the wide variety of unique resources, many of which cannot be found elsewhere online, are Chatham County funeral programs, the Francis B. Hays Granville County scrapbook collection, family and legal documents from Stanly County’s Dr. Francis Joseph Kron collections, and Chowan County Freemasonry records for 1775-78. DigitalNC is a treasure trove of freely accessible materials that might otherwise not be readily uncovered by genealogists and historians.”

Through partnerships with 184 libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies, the Center has helped to put North Carolina’s cultural heritage online. Over the course of six years, that has come to over 75,000 digitized objects represented in over 2.4 million scans of everything from yearbook pictures, to newspaper advertisements, to quilts and Christmas cards.

Librarians, archivists, and curators at each partner institution select materials that they feel are especially significant. They deliver the items to Chapel Hill, where trained technicians use high-performance equipment to create the scans and share them online at and as part of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The North Carolina Digital Heritage 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 Services and Technology Act, and by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.

“We’re thrilled to have been recognized by the North Carolina Genealogical Society. This award belongs not only to us but also to the 180+ partners making their collections more accessible through DigitalNC,” said Gregory.

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