E-Net News

Eight new early-Elon scrapbooks now on the web

An intern with Elon University’s Belk Library worked this semester in coordination with the N.C. Digital Heritage Center to digitize and publish online scrapbooks created by eight of Elon’s earliest students.

Elon University archivist Katie Nash (left) with Elon junior Jess McDonald, who helped preserve and digitize scrapbooks from some of the university's earliest students.

Elon junior Jess McDonald, a history and sociology double major, also helped preserve many of the scrapbooks in acid free boxes, completing historical research and writing descriptions for each in the process.

Photos of student life on campus, trips made by students, programs from three different literary societies, newspaper clippings and handmade crafts were all included in each scrapbook.

“It was interesting to learn more about Elon’s history,” McDonald said. “Each time I started a new scrapbook, I was so excited to see what was going to be on each page.”

Katie Nash, the university’s archivist and special collections librarian, said it takes lots of work to make the unique collections available. She said the original plan was to re-house and create descriptions for no more than five scrapbooks, but because of McDonald’s efficiency, they were able to have the N.C. Digital Heritage Center digitize eight volumes.

“Through Jess’ work, I was able to see these scrapbooks come to life and see what was inside them,” Nash said. “Being able to see the fruits of that labor was so exciting for me.”

Former Elon students such as John Galloway Truitt, Sr. and Vitus Reid Holt are among the eight former Elon students who created these scrapbooks. “I really enjoyed learning about people whose names you constantly see around campus,” McDonald said.

McDonald enjoyed the work in the archives at Belk Library so much that McDonald plans to continue there this summer re-housing and conducting historical research on additional scrapbooks, among other projects.

DigitalNC and the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center are supported by Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

The scrapbooks can now be viewed online here.

- Written by Becca Tynes ‘13

Eric Townsend,
5/25/2011 1:05 PM