In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) will be collecting, cataloging, and preserving the collective memories of Somerset County residents.
Utilizing a suite of digitization equipment including seven (7) high resolution scanners, a lightbox, a digital single-lens reflex camera, and more; as well as the expertise of SCLSNJ’s archival and historical librarians, the Library will be providing residents the opportunity to both preserve and learn about their own history and that of their neighbors.
2018 Digitization Dates
- April 7 at SCLSNJ’s Hillsborough Library branch
- May 12 at SCLSNJ’s Bound Brook Memorial Library branch
- June 23 hosted offsite at the Franklin Township Library
- July 21 at SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Memorial Library branch
- September 22 at SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch
- October 20 at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch
- November 17 at SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch
2019 Digitization Dates
- March 16 at SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch
- April 13 at SCLSNJ’s Warren Township Library branch
- May 18 at SCLSNJ’s Peapack & Gladstone Library branch
- June 15 at SCLSNJ’s Watchung Library branch
“Our digitization days will allow our patrons to preserve their memories for future generations of family, friends, and community neighbors,” said grant coordinator and technical services manager Rebecca Sandoval Sloat.
Somerset County residents should bring no more than 5 items to each digitization session, including:
- Historic photographs, letters, or documents;
- Sketches, paintings, or other artwork;
- Family heirlooms including recipes;
- Jewelry or decorative arts;
- Textiles such as quilts, samplers, flags, or uniforms;
- Antique toys;
- And, other artifacts.
If a resident has a more robust collection of historical items that they wish to digitize, that patron should make a one-on-one appointment with the library by emailing CommonHeritage@sclibnj.org. If a patron wishes to share an oral history of a historic and/or life event, short recorded interviews can be arranged.
SCLSNJ will make these collective memories available for research and use for future generations by contributing digitized items to Rutgers University’s New Jersey Digital Highway, by making them available in our library’s online catalog, and by submitting them to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
The following community organizations will be partnering with SCLSNJ through the course of this eighteen-month project: The Board of Chosen Freeholders, Somerset County; The Courier News/MyCentralJersey.com; the Franklin Township Public Library; the New Jersey Council for the Humanities; and Somerset County Historical Society
The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey Common Heritage initiative has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these Library programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers. Learn more at neh.gov.