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05/13/2014

Image from the CHARM Collection

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) announces the development of "Deeply Rooted," a new, shared digital collection focusing on the rich agricultural and rural histories of its member institutions. This project builds on the work of Mississippi State University Libraries' Consortium for the History of Agriculture and Rural Mississippi (CHARM), especially with regard to online digital content and the subjects of agricultural and rural history.

"ASERL libraries have amazingly deep, fascinating collections related to the rural history of the South and our country as a whole," commented Thomas McNally, ASERL's President and Dean of Libraries at the University of South Carolina. "We are excited we can combine our strengths to deliver unique, unparalleled content to historians and students across country and the world via our ASERL partnerships."

As with the Civil War project, ASERL seeks to enable broad participation of member institutions in the "Deeply Rooted" collection. This collection will contain content that describes economic, technologic, and social factors significant to the development of agricultural practices, crops, technology, and agrarian life in the regions of the contributing institutions

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) will serve as the main portal for this Deeply Rooted collection, which is projected to be online by the end of 2014. Mississippi State University Libraries will provide leadership on the steering committee, harvest and normalize the metadata and serving as a liaison to DPLA for this effort.

"We are thrilled that the Deeply Rooted project is underway and will provide researchers with access to these primary resources. Making them available through the DPLA will make the resources more discoverable to researchers around the world," said Frances Coleman, Dean of MSU Libraries.

This will be the second shared digital collection created under the ASERL umbrella. In 2011, ASERL launched American-south.org, an online portal to a shared digital collection of Civil War Era content. This collection contains more than 10,000 items from more than 30 libraries and has attracted more than 55,000 visitors since its launch.

For more information on the project contact John Burger, ASERL Executive Director (jburger@aserl.org); Frances Coleman, Dean of Libraries, Mississippi State University; Stephen Cunetto, Administrator of Systems, Mississippi State University Libraries.

Update, 06/02/2014: Library Journal has more information about the "Deeply Rooted" project.

About ASERL:
For more than 50 years, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries has brought together leaders from research, federal, and state libraries in the region to foster a high standard of library excellence through inter-institutional resource sharing and other collaborative efforts. Today, ASERL is the largest regional research library consortium in the United States. By working together, ASERL members continue to provide and maintain top quality resources and services for the students, faculty, and citizens of their respective communities. For more information on ASERL, please visit http://www.aserl.org/.

About the MSU Libraries:
Mississippi State University Libraries is a premier research library providing its communities of users an ongoing, creative, technologically advanced library program that provides new and emerging technologies; enhances and inspires teaching, research, and service of the highest caliber in an environment of free and open inquiry and with a commitment to excellence. For more information about MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.