Duke Divinity School has received a $110,000 grant by the State Library of North Carolina to the Divinity School Library  for the digital project, “Religion in North Carolina,” which will be a collection of the primary materials of religious bodies in North Carolina.
Project partners will be the other libraries at Duke University, and the libraries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University. It will take the libraries the next three years to complete the project, which will receive more funding in each of the two upcoming years.
Hannah Rozear, a Divinity School Library staff member, is replacing Andrew Keck as project manager in the wake of Keck’s departure from Duke. Beth Sheppard, the new director of the library as of July 1, will replace current director Roger Loyd as principal investigator for the project.
The Religion in North Carolina Digital Collection will bring together, preserve, and provide access to 8,000 volumes of the main materials of religious bodies from every county in the state. The collection will include the histories of local religious bodies, as well as the publications of larger North Carolina associations that describe the history of religious bodies and their leaders.
Materials will be digitized primarily from the collections of project partners but will also be enriched by unique materials from over 200 public, university, and college libraries and archives in North Carolina and elsewhere. Digitized materials will be made available through an Internet archive and promoted through a project website that will include critical interpretative tools and connections to other resources.
The project has an advisory board composed of 34 faculty members and practitioners in religion from across the state including Grant Wacker , professor of Christian history at Duke Divinity School.
“This project is important to the cultural heritage of North Carolina because it will provide insight into the diversity of that cultural heritage, particularly its religious diversity,” Wacker said. “Along with Pennsylvania, North Carolina has been the most religiously diverse state in the United States. An understanding of this diversity offers a template for understanding the increasingly diverse character of America itself.”
The grant for the collection is made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.