MCC Early Adopter of Archives Initiative

In 2016, a group of North Carolina community college leaders established the North Carolina Community College Archives Association. Its purpose is to promote the establishment, development, support, and preservation of college archive and special collections within the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System and to serve as a statewide voice on behalf of North Carolina community college history.

Montgomery Community College is one of the early members of the association. Touger Vang, MCC’s Dean of Learning Resources, leads MCC’s ongoing archives project, and College President Dr. Chad Bledsoe is the organization’s liaison from the NC Association of Community College Presidents. Over the past seven years, MCC has begun preserving its history, and in doing so, is fostering an awareness and appreciation for the importance, significance and value of the college’s archives.

 “We begin by defining what we believe has historical significance to the college,” explains Touger. “Once we have that understanding, we locate, group and begin preservation of the assets.” Preservation involves the process of scanning paper records, creating digital images which can then be named and searched in an online database.

MCC is building upon a partnership with DigitalNC, a project of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. The statewide digitization and digital publishing program works with cultural heritage organizations (like community colleges) across North Carolina to digitize and publish historic materials online. DigitalNC housed in the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Touger has collected thousands of pieces for the college archives dating back to the college’s founding in 1967. Items include course catalogs, newsletters, news clippings, historical documents, bulletins, bi-annual tabloids, minutes from meetings, and thousands of photos of students, staff and the campus grounds. Where possible, Touger and his team are naming the files, timestamping them and identifying people and places. In time, MCC’s assets will become part of the statewide archives receptacle which will be searchable from anywhere in the world.