Pascagoula Library Starting Digital Preservation Plan

Hurricane Katrina wiped out many historic documents and artifacts at Gulf Coast landmarks like Beauvoir. One local library is safeguarding its files and history archives through digitization.
Robert Jennings is an avid historian and a member of the Pascagoula Negro/Carver High School Historical and Archive Committee. He stores photographs and artifacts dating back to the 1950s at Pascagoula Public Library’s Genealogy and Local History Department. “If you don’t know your history, if you don’t know where you’ve been, you don’t know where you’re going. You’ve heard that saying a lot of times in your capacity and I feel strongly about that also,” said Jennings.
The department is putting two recent grants, totaling near $6,000, to good use by funding this digital preservation plan. All records, important documents, and vital collections in the library will be digitized.
Jennings believes this will take the library, its visitors and research to a new level. “You’d be able to do some cross-references in any instance to research. It’s phenomenal. Now, don’t forget, I’m an old Dewey Decimal System person, so this is going to be a blessing for me also.”
With the help of a few library officials and a scanner, they have been able to digitize about 40,000 obituaries from Jackson County on and off for the past five years.
Renee Hague, with programming and outreach at the Genealogy and Local History Department, said, “After Katrina, we were so concerned about the preservation of materials. We began with the idea that if we scanned it in, we’d be able to back it up several different ways and preserve it.”
Preserving history with the latest technology to ensure that the records are accurate and the stories behind these historic relics are on point, and safe, for generations to come.
The Genealogy and Local History Department will be closed from September 8th to the 11th and again on the 15th and 16th. They will use this time to train employees for the digitization project.

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