"Documenting the American South: The
Southern Experience in 19th-Century America" This database presents primary source
materials documenting the cultural history of the American South. It
features diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, travel accounts, titles on
slavery and regional literature drawn from the rich Southern holdings of
the UNC--CH Academic Affairs Library. Over 70 titles (or 16,000 pages of
primary source materials) have already been digitized and published on the
This type of ambitious electronic effort is increasingly viewed as
important and timely; the UNC-CH initiative recently won a National
Digital Library Competition sponsored by the Library of Congress and
Ameritech Co., Inc.
The library also started up a new project

"A Digitized Library of
Southern Literature: Beginnings to 1920" In 1995, the late Dr. Robert Bain
wrote to some fifty scholars throughout the United States who specialize
in Southern and American literature. He requested that they nominate what
they considered the ten most important works of Southern literature
published before 1920. From their responses, Bain compiled the list of one
hundred important Southern literary texts that forms the basis of this
project. He completed the list three months before his death in July 1996.
A faculty member at UNC-CH from 1964 until 1995, Bain taught American and
Southern literature and co-edited five scholarly works on Southern
writers. The first twenty-five texts come from the premier Southern
collections of the libraries at UNC-CH: the North Carolina Collection, the
Rare Book Collection, and Davis Library. A recent internal funding from
the Chancellor's Academic Enhancement Grant will enable us to digitize and
publish more literary texts on the Web.
Initial interest in the database has been enthusiastic; users range from
elementary school teachers and students through post-doctoral researchers.
Readership is already world-wide -- individuals from Canada, England,
Russia, Brasilia and Australia have read texts and provided inspiring

All the selected materials are encoded according to the Text Encoding
Initiative (TEI P3) SGML-based Guidelines, using TEILite.DTD (version 1.6).
We also provide an HTML version, as an alternate format, for all the
electronic editions encoded in SGML/TEI. The translation from SGML to HTML
has been generated using a perl script. The project is available at and is supported by the Academic Affairs
Library, the Ameritech Co., Inc., the Chancellor of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the SunSite at UNC-CH.
We would really appreciate your comments and suggestions essential for the
database development.

For further information contact:
Natalia ("Natasha") Smith
Digitization Librarian
Davis Library, CB#3918
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890
tel. (919) 962-1095
fax (919) 962-4450

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