Belk Library is working with the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center to digitize every edition of the student newspaper dating to 1920.
By Natalie Allison ’13
Elon student newspapers from 1920-1970 are now available in digital format online, and the collection will soon be updated through May 2012 editions.
Katie Nash, special collections librarian and archivist, said the digitization of the university’s student newspapers – both The Pendulum and its predecessor, the Maroon and Gold, as well as “underground” student newspapers such as Veritas and some Student Government Association publications – will make the archives much more accessible both for both library staff members conducting searches for others and for people wanting to view the newspapers on their own.
“Instead of finding the physical copy of a paper, photocopying it and mailing it, it has streamlined our ability to answer questions,” she said.
The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is in charge of converting the print newspapers to an online format, and is doing so for publications at other universities, public libraries and museums in North Carolina.
Nash said her office answers around 400 reference questions each year, coming from faculty, staff and students — but even more coming from the public.
“We get reference questions and are able to then search online for an article that features the person’s parent or grandparent,” she said.
Though the digital format will allow people to conduct their own searches in the archived student newspapers, Nash said the library will still assist people with their queries.
“We’ll still try to do a lot of that back-end work, just to make it easier for people,” she said. “But there definitely will be some instances where we can just point them to the link and say ‘here is the year you’re looking for.’”