STARKVILLE, Miss.--The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries is announcing the development of "Deeply Rooted," a new, shared digital collection focusing on the rich agricultural and rural histories of its member institutions.
The project builds on the work of the Mississippi State University Libraries' Consortium for the History of Agriculture and Rural Mississippi, especially with regard to online digital content and the subjects of agricultural and rural history. The consortium typically is known by its acronym, CHARM.
Association president Thomas McNally, dean of libraries at the University of South Carolina, said association libraries "have amazingly deep, fascinating collections related to the rural history of the South and our country as a whole."
McNally the national organization is "excited we can combine our strengths to deliver unique, unparalleled content to historians and students across country and the world via our ASERL partnerships."
"Deeply Rooted" will be the second shared digital collection created under the association's umbrella. In 2011, it launched www.American-south.org, an online portal to a shared digital collection of Civil War Era content. That collection contains more than 10,000 items from more than 30 libraries and has attracted more than 55,000 visitors since its launch.
As with the Civil War project, ASERL seeks to enable broad participation of member institutions in the "Deeply Rooted" collection. The collection will contain content describing economic, technologic and social factors significant to the development of agricultural practices, crops, technology, and agrarian life in the regions of the contributing institutions.
The Digital Public Library of America will serve as the main portal for the new collection that is projected to be online by the end of the year.
MSU library officials will provide leadership on the steering committee, while also harvesting and normalizing the metadata and serving as liaison to DPLA for the effort.
Frances Coleman, dean of MSU Libraries, said she and her colleagues also are excited "the Deeply Rooted project is underway and will provide researchers with access to these primary resources.
"Making them available through the DPLA will make the resources more discoverable to researchers around the world," Coleman added.
For more about the project, contact ASERL executive director John Burger at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the association itself, see www.aserl.org.
At MSU, Coleman and Stephen Cunetto, administrator of systems, may be reached via the faculty/staff directory link in the lower right-hand corner of http://library.msstate.edu.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.