April 28th, 2006
WVU New and information Services
April 28, 2006
The WVU Libraries’ online database of historical photographs has recently grown beyond 10,000 digital images.
The milestone comes only five months after launching West Virginia History OnView. The database made its debut during Mountaineer Week in November 2005 with about 5,000 images.
“We created the database with the ambitious goal of cataloging 25,000 photographs from our West Virginia and Regional History Collection (WVRHC), and I’m pleased that we are making brisk progress,” WVU Libraries Dean Frances O’Brien said. “We are also all delighted that the site already draws thousands of users every month. People have found WV History OnView to be a valuable research tool.”
Since November 2005, the WVU Libraries have counted 20,000 individual visits to the site a month, according to Dennis Newborn, head of systems for the libraries. High usage actually caused the site to crash shortly after going online five months ago.
“Its popularity is pretty obvious,” said Newborn said.
Newborn is quick to give credit for the success to long hours WVU Libraries’ staff have dedicated to the project.
“It’s been amazing the number of photographs we’ve been able to add to the site,” Newborn said. “It’s a lot of hard work on the part of many people in the library.”
The database provides users with immediate access via the Internet to some of the best images from an archive of more than 150,000 photographs owned by the WVRHC.
The physical collection, located in Wise Library, has been used regularly by students and faculty at WVU and other institutions, researchers, historians, and members of the media. Many of the pictures often end up in term papers, classroom presentations, newspaper and magazine articles, and documentaries.
The WV History OnView site can be reached by going to the WVU Libraries homepage at http://www.libraries.wvu.edu/ and clicking on the WV History OnView link at the bottom right of the page.