Eighty years after its founding in January 1930, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Wilson Special Collections Library is inaugurating a program to digitize large segments of the collections.

The Digital Southern Historical Collection debuted Jan. 8 with thirty-five collections digitized in their entirety, plus two more that have been partially digitized.

The 8,627 scans reproduce diaries, letters, business records, and photographs that provide a window into the lives of Americans in the South from the 18th through mid-20th centuries.

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