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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published April 05 2010

Effort puts F-M archives online and at hand

An online archive system is making historical content about Fargo-Moorhead and the region easily accessible to the public.

Digital Horizons, a joint effort with several local libraries and other organizations, has more than 20,000 historical items online and available for researchers, students and the public.

And it’s just the beginning.

John Bye, director of the North Dakota State University Libraries Institute for Regional Studies and NDSU archivist, said new materials will be added to the site as fast as staff can scan them.

“It’s something that’s going to keep growing,” Bye said. “There is no end in sight.”

Digital Horizons is a consortium formed in 2007 by the Institute for Regional Studies, the Concordia College Archives, Prairie Public Broadcasting and the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Other organizations, including the Fargo Public Library, have also contributed materials.

Most of the materials available so far are photographs because that’s the most popular request from the public, Bye said.

The institute plans to add diaries and letters as well as oral histories and video clips, he said.

Concordia has a historical campus photo collection available, as well as a graduate thesis collection. The State Historical Society has thousands of photos available and past North Dakota Blue Books.

Having the information online opens up more opportunities to make the information available to the public, Bye said.

“Until the Internet came along, archives were pretty much collections that sat in dark rooms and basements, and people had to go there to see anything,” Bye said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590