East Carolina University digital collection of historic photographs receives reference award

J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University  has won the 2010 Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services for the online resource “Seeds of Change: The Daily Reflector Image Collection”.

The award is administered by RUSA and is given to a library or library system for development of an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs. “Seeds of Change” contains more than 7,500 images taken from 1949 to 1967 and digitized from the photographic negatives of The Daily Reflector, Greenville, N.C.’s daily newspaper. These photos document the trends and developments that influenced the eastern region of North Carolina during this period of major change in the United States. The collection’s website also contains supplemental multimedia resources which offer historical context for the images, including a streaming video and full transcript of an interview with The Daily Reflector’s former editor and photographer; an essay written by ECU history faculty member Christopher Oakley on the history of Pitt County and Greenville during this period; and an illustrated timeline identifying the national and international events that shaped the era. The resource also contains tools for browsing the images by subject, facilitating users’ entry into the collection.

“’Seeds of Change’ impressed the review panel in everything from the title of the resource to its presentation,” said Julia Gelfand, award committee chair. “This resource is a model for visual literacy, incorporating history and news with powerful images of the time.”

The development of “Seeds of Change” was partially supported with federal funds made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. This collection is the latest addition to Joyner Library Digital Collections, an online resource for the Library’s rare and unique special collection materials.

Gretchen Gueguen, digital initiatives librarian at Joyner Library and lead technical developer of the resource will accept the award on behalf of the Library—a citation and $3,000 cash prize sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning—at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 4-5:30 p.m., Monday, June 28, as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.

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