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The San Joaquin Valley Digitization Project began in the summer of 2001. The project provided the nine public libraries of the San Joaquin Valley Library System (SJVLS) with equipment and training so that they could digitize portions of their historical photograph collections. Many of these libraries partnered with individuals and institutions in their communities who also had valuable historical photos.

The project has three goals:

  • To improve access to the historical images found in the collections of libraries, museums, and other institutions and individuals in the region. This is being accomplished by making digital copies of the photographs and organizing them in a database with detailed information about each image. Access to the database has been made available at this web site. Researchers and others interested in the local history of the Central Valley can now access the images from these dispersed collections as a single collection, without having to travel to the region. The images can now be browsed and searched in ways that were not previously possible.
  • To preserve the photographs and their valuable content. The project supplied each library with the materials and training that are used to help protect photographs from deterioration. The creation of a digital copy that can be used by researchers in place of the original will reduce possibility of the original being damaged.
  • To put in place the equipment, skills, and infrastructure that will enable the SJVLS member libraries to work independently to digitize the unique content in their collections, and other collections in their communities; and make the content available on the internet. As a result, these libraries can continue to make a valuable contribution to the growing body of primary research material available on the internet.

The SJVDP would not have been possible without the support of the California State Library, and the funding available under the Library Services and Technology Act. For information about LSTA grants in California, go to the California State Library web site: http://www.library.ca.gov/grants/.