NC Historical Review online? Um, not so fast

I was excited to see in Carolina Comments (July) that plans were being laid to take the North Carolina Historical Review online, first with a listing of all articles since 1924, later with full text. Editor in chief Donna E. Kelly provides Miscellany readers with the somewhat-less-encouraging details:

“A list of Review articles has been prepared but has not been posted online yet because we are trying to determine the best way to post it. There are no immediate plans to post entire articles online because that would take an inordinate amount of staff time and we have just lost four staff members to recent budget cuts. Moreover, we have so many back issues, that we need to sell out of most of those before we even consider posting the articles free of charge. We might consider posting some of the really early articles, but from the 1960s forward, we have so many back issues, that it wouldn’t make sense to put them online.

“At some point I envision that the Review will be available through online subscription only, but we have not yet explored that route. Our IT people would need to set up a secure way of making the access password protected.

“In any event, just keep checking our Web site periodically for updates. We’re hoping that it will get a facelift at some point, but we have to wait until the DCR IT staff gets around to us.”

What a shame, however budgetarily understandable  — and what a contrast between the current reach of the Review in print and its limitless potential online. Consider, for instance, the attention deficit for David La Vere’s provocative July 2009 article on the Dare Stones.

6 thoughts on “NC Historical Review online? Um, not so fast”

  1. Note, however, that full-text of the more recent NCHR articles is available through NCLive, a collection of databases accessible to any North Carolina library patron. (I just called up the La Vere article in under two minutes from my home computer using nothing but my CM Library card.)
    I can’t remember how far back the EBSCOhost database has the full-text, but I’ve generally been able to find things from the last decade, maybe a bit more, with no problem.

  2. Thanks, Leslie…. I’m no library scientist, but I had some success finding articles as far back as 2004. More may be lurking.

  3. In a follow up to Mr. Powell’s original report back in 2010, we have come a long way. The Historical Publications Section has signed an agreement with JSTOR to begin offering the Historical Review through paid subscription. In addition, we have an agreement with the North Carolina State Library to digitize and make available all of the issues from 1924 through 1967. Eventually, once they have digitized all of the issues, JSTOR will make all issues available. They are still available through EBSCO HOST at many local libraries, including the State Library.

    For the immediate future, we plan to continue the print version as long as we have enough subscribers to cover the printing cost. We are expanding to an online version through JSTOR instead of trying to set up the plan I had alluded to back in 2010 of going through DCR IT to set up a subscription through our office. We can outsource it much more efficiently.

    Please contact my office if you have any questions.

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