The 7th Floor at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library reopened on Saturday and a new high-tech feature found a home among the historical documents, rare books, and reference materials at the Dallas History & Archives Division.
The re-opening of the floor culminated a nearly $6 million redo of the archive, the genesis of which started nearly a decade ago.
The Digital Interactive Gallery, the DIG, allows up to three people at a time to digitally scroll through six screens that give them access to maps, a timeline of the city of Dallas, digitized photos and, eventually, videos.
WALL EASES ACCESS, REDUCES PHYSICAL HANDLING OF RARE MATERIALS
The DIG will make access to the rare materials housed in the archive easier, and will reduce the physical handling of the materials.
While viewing a demonstration of the DIG by Library Director Jo Giudice, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez was overhead calling it, “major cool.”
Staff of the Dallas History & Archives created the content for the DIG, and worked on its design and implementation with a contractor.
The DIG should become a popular feature for visitors, particularly students taking tours of the library.
It joins some of the archive’s most famous exhibits, a copy of the Declaration of Independence produced in 1776 and distributed to public view then, and a first-edition folio of the works of William Shakespeare.
LIBRARY HOUSES IMPORTANT PHOTO COLLECTIONS
The archive has many materials from the history of Dallas and from other areas of the state of Texas.
Included among the archive’s holdings are the photographs of the well-known African-American photographer Marion Butts. The exhibit, “Marion Butts: Lens on Dallas,” contains more than 1,800 photographs. Some of the images from the collection can be viewed on the DIG.
Also on exhibit at the archive is an exhibition of photographs of the Little Mexico section of Dallas donated by the Dallas Mexican American Historical League.
Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Erik Wilson told visitors before a ribbon-cutting ceremony that making these types of historical information and images available to coming generations is an important mission for the library.
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