Home Local Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Launches Crowd-Sourcing Fundraising Campaign for Oral History Project...

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Launches Crowd-Sourcing Fundraising Campaign for Oral History Project Digitization


BCRI Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) recently launched its first-ever crowd-sourced fundraising campaign via the web based funding platform Indiegogo. The goal of the effort is to crowd-source at least $10,000 of the overall $200,000 needed to fully digitize and catalog the BCRI Oral History Project collection by December 31, 2013. Begun in 1994, the BCRI Oral History Project set out to record first-hand accounts of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham from veterans of, and witnesses to, the local struggle. Twenty years and 500 interviews later, BCRI must digitize the collection.
“Researchers from around the world visit BCRI in person or contact us every day to access transcripts and recordings,” explains BCRI Archivist and Oral History Project Director Laura Anderson. “We will point to the funds raised through Indiegogo and show major funders that the public believes this collection to be valuable – worth preserving and making available to a global audience.”
“These are one-of-a-kind stories, an American treasure,” states BCRI President and CEO Dr. Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr.  “A crowd-sourced fundraising campaign like this one is great because people can get involved at any level, from $10 to $10,000, and be connected to BCRI’s effort to collect, preserve, and share with the world the stories of the Birmingham Movement.”
BCRI administration and staff point to three motivating factors for digitization: Preservation, visibility, and access. Currently, interview recordings live on aging tapes housed in the BCRI Archives; digitization will ensure preservation by creating digital files for storage on multiple servers. Today, patrons learn about the collection via the BCRI web site or by spotting references in books and articles; digitization will increase visibility and usage when the digitized collection is available via online libraries and catalogs worldwide.  Right now, researchers can access full recordings and transcripts only by visiting BCRI Archives in person; digitization will lead to broadened access through digital cataloguing of the collection and connection to digital libraries.
To visit the BCRI campaign directly, go to:  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/512709/emal/4588420. For more information on BCRI’s Oral History Project or the digitization effort, contact BCRI Archivist / Oral History Project Director Laura Anderson (landerson@bcri.org) at 205.328.9696 x215.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here