Camden Artifacts Coming Online Thanks to State Digital Effort | Reporting
CAMDEN – Anyone wishing to see the Camden Heritage Museum’s offerings of old photographs, newspaper articles and genealogical records will soon be able to do so online.
Officials at the NC Digital Heritage Center worked with Camden County Librarian Kim Perry and volunteer Heritage Museum staff to digitize dozens of historical documents during a visit to Camden on August 31, according to a press release.
The documents will be available online at the NC Digital Heritage Center website, www.DigitalNC.com, in 4 to 6 weeks, probably by the end of October, said Sarah Hill, director of the Dismal Swamp Canal Visitors Center and a member of the Camden Tourism Authority.
The NC Digital Heritage Center is a statewide digitization and digital publishing program of the Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The center works with libraries, archives, museums, historical sites and others to digitize, describe and publish historical documents online, increasing access to its collections. The program is supported by the State Library of North Carolina with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the UNC-Chapel Hill University Library.
Lisa Gregory, Digital Heritage Center Program Coordinator, along with Ashlie Brewer, Digitization Technician and Kristen Merryman, Digital Projects Librarian, met with Perry and Camden Heritage Museum volunteers Brian Forehand, Alex Leary and Sandra Leary to digitize historical records at no cost to the county.
According to Hill, the documents scanned by the group included Camden store records from the 1860s and 1870s, Camden Pecan Farm records from 1910, County voters lists from the early 1900s, and a literacy test from the years 1940 which was used to determine eligibility to vote.
The group also scanned family photographs that were submitted to the museum and postcards from the 1890s of the Dismal Swamp Canal and the reconstruction of the canal locks.
“We are grateful and excited to work with the NC Digital Heritage Center to provide better access to Camden County heritage,” Forehand said in the statement. “It is a wonderful resource for Camden County and for those interested in history or genealogy.”
Timothy Owens, State Librarian, and Elaine Westbrooks, Vice-President of University Libraries and University Librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill, also visited the Camden Heritage Museum later in the day to celebrate that Camden County has become the 100th county in North Carolina to partner with the NC Digital Heritage Center.
According to Hill, the Digital Heritage Center contacted Camden officials in 2019 to digitize the county records. Those plans were put on hold after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, however.
Once the Camden documents are fully loaded on the Digital Heritage Center site, visitors can view the documents for the 100 counties of North Carolina. The materials are classified by county.
“We are really excited to have the historic Camden records on the centre’s website,” Hill said. “We also thank them for contacting us. It’s a great resource for anyone interested in history or genealogy.
The Camden Heritage Museum and Historic Jail are open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for private / group tours by appointment. For more information, call (252)771-8333 or visit [email protected]