Shanna Raines of the Greenville County Library System kindly took the time to answer questions and discuss their projects and experience using the platform with Sara Brumfield of FromThePage.
Shanna Raines is the South Carolina Room Supervisor of the Hughes Main Library of the Greenville County Library System.
First, tell us about your documents.
The Greenville County Library System’s (Library) historical collection of digital materials, currently contains more than 25,000 items from the South Carolina Room, home to the Library’s genealogy and local history collection, as well as donations and loans from local organizations and private collections. The items in the South Carolina Room collection date back to 1794 and showcase the rich history of Greenville County and the Upstate of South Carolina.
Currently, the Library has seven active projects hosted on the FromThePage platform which include: five local periodicals (The Courant, Greenville Piedmont, Semaphore, The Slater News, and Trench & Camp), a scrapbook of letters, photographs, maps, and postcards from around the world created by a local Rotarian (World Friendship Project), and a collection of family letters in Greek (Metchicas and Kehayas Family Letters).
Of these, our largest-scale project is the transcription of over 4,000 pages of the Greenville Piedmont newspaper from the years 1912-1926. The Greenville Piedmont was the afternoon edition of the Greenville News in Greenville, South Carolina and contains a wealth of information for genealogists and historians. The Greenville Piedmont was digitized from our microfilm version of the paper and transcription is essential to make the newspaper more searchable and accessible. The Greenville County Library System is the first organization to make this newspaper available freely online!
What are your goals for the projects?
The main goal is to make materials and resources in the Library’s collection more accessible and discoverable through transcription.
How are you recruiting or finding volunteers/collaborators?
The Library has a robust network of library patrons and active volunteers who support its Mission. Volunteer opportunities are promoted during Library and community events, on the Library’s social media channels, and on the Library’s website.
Often, individuals contact the Library directly either in person or over the phone to inquire about individual and group volunteer opportunities. Now with FromThePage, there are more options available to prospective volunteers.
Can you share your experience using FromThePage?
The Library joined FromThePage in 2022 and has had a positive experience using features such as Collaborator Time, which allows statistics to be easily exported and shared with our Volunteer Coordinator each month for reporting.
Since initializing the service, FromThePage developers’ responsiveness to our questions has been helpful. Getting started with FromThePage was a breeze and collaborators quickly began finding and working on projects, which was exciting! FromThePage allows the Library to share projects with a wider range of volunteers than ever before. In 2022, we also had two Library interns assist with projects on FromThePage. Importing from CONTENTdm into FromThePage has been an easy process. Setting up transcription projects for volunteers and interns was much more complex before subscribing to FromThePage. Now, we are able to achieve our project goals much more quickly and efficiently.
What advice would you give to other institutions thinking about running a similar project?
FromThePage has saved our Library valuable time and seeing the amount of collaborators take an interest in our projects has been rewarding. Since joining FromThePage eight months ago, the Library went from having a few volunteers helping with transcription projects to now having over 100 collaborators with close to 2,000 pages transcribed. The Library has been pleased with the help received from collaborators.
Anything else you'd like to tell us?
FromThePage has provided an innovative solution to our Library’s transcription project needs. We have been very pleased with the product and wish we had discovered it sooner.
Have a project that you want to digitize? Schedule a demo with Ben and Sara.
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