As you make your way through the ALA Annual conference, a resource you must see will be the ProQuest History vault, and in particular the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Papers Collection. This is a six-module digitized version of the NAACP's archives.
The NAACP module from History Vault was recently reviewed in Library Journal. Comments in the article, found here, include:
-- "... an especially nice time-saving feature here is that you can download portions of a file, rather than the entire file all at once."
-- "... remarkable detail and scope ... "
-- "... when using advanced search you can choose to mine all six modules at once or just a single module.... Overall, searching this database is easy."
-- "The content here is astounding in quantity and quality. The image resolution is excellent, even for hand-written items. Searching this file is a valuable history lesson in itself."
Cheryl LaGuardia, who wrote the review, also noted that the NAACP's print archives are one of the most heavily used collections in the Library of Congress, and that this digitization is important because subscribers "can now have 24/7/365 access to this remarkable record. An essential acquisition for libraries serving scholars in civil and human rights, American history, criminal justice, social choice and political theory, military history, and sociology. A tremendously significant historical resource."
Stop by booth 703 at ALA to see a quick introductory presentation about the NAACP Papers Collection. These 15-minute sessions will document a century of civil rights activism, and reviews a collection of nearly two million pages of internal memos, legal briefings, and direct action summaries from national, legal, and branch offices throughout the country. It charts the NAACP's work and delivers a first-hand view into crucial issues. This module is fully searchable and accessible electronically as part of ProQuest History Vault, an initiative to digitize historically rich primary sources, opening their discovery to broader audiences. This collection of primary source materials is something you won't want to miss learning more about!
This is just a glimpse into what we'll be sharing at ALA 2014. We hope to see you there!