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Abstract: Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative

The Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative represents one of the most ambitious and comprehensive effort to date to deliver educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the Web. The struggle for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s is among the most far-reaching social movements in the nation’s history, and it represents a crucial step in the evolution of American democracy. The Initiative will promote an enhanced understanding of the Movement trough its three principal components: 1) a digital video archive of historical news film allowing learners to be nearly eyewitnesses to key events of the Civil Rights Movement, 2) a civil rights portal providing a seamless virtual library on the Movement by aggregating metadata on a national scale, and 3) a learning objects component that will deliver secondary Web-based resources—such as multimedia productions, interactive timelines and maps, articles, lesson plans, and activities--to facilitate the use of the video content in the learning process. The Initiative will address social priorities communicated by IMLS by advancing cross-disciplinary approaches, promoting a seamless infrastructure for learning, emphasizing context and structure for digital information, and recruiting and educating new leaders for a learning society. The Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative will achieve its desired outcomes through a partnership among digital library and information technology professionals, archivists, humanities scholars and graduate students, academic publishers, and public broadcasters.


  • Digital Library of Georgia (University of Georgia Libraries/GALILEO)
  • Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia
  • Georgia Humanities Council (through the New Georgia Encyclopedia)
  • Georgia Public Broadcasting
  • Library Services, Office of Information and Instructional Technology, Board of Regents, University System of Georgia (GALILEO)
  • University of Georgia Press (through the New Georgia Encyclopedia)
  • Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection (University of Georgia Libraries)