Silicon Valley History Online  

About the Project

Silicon Valley History Online is a project of the Silicon Valley Local History Network (SVLHN). The SVLHN was formed in 2001 by ten Santa Clara Valley archivists and local history librarians to discuss mutual concerns and share information about their collections. In the spring of 2003, seven of these institutions jointly wrote a 2003/2004 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. We received a one-year grant of $144,000 from the California State Library to assemble, digitize, and post online 1,000 images of photographs, manuscripts, artifacts, and ephemera that represent the history of the Santa Clara Valley while also developing supplementary curriculum and a cataloging handbook for the project.

The grant provided money for a Project Archivist to manage the day-to-day work of the project and a Metadata Cataloger to catalog the materials being added to the site. Centralized cataloging enables participation by institutions that do not have the staff to catalog their own materials for this type of project.

The initial 1,000 images will give a broad overview of Santa Clara Valley history, including the pre-contact period of the Ohlone people, the 18th century Mission Period, the 19th to mid-20th century agricultural "Valley of Heart's Delight" era, and late 20th century "Silicon Valley." Each participating institution selected approximately 125 items that relate to the themes Ethnic Diversity, Immigrants, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Technology, Transportation, and Urban Life. These items were shipped via FedEx to Luna Imaging, Inc. in southern California to be scanned. We received digital image files from Luna for each item, along with technical metadata for the files. The Metadata Cataloger then cataloged the items using CONTENTdm digital asset management software.

We were required to follow the California State Library scanning and metadata digitization standards and participate in the Online Archive of California (OAC) Local History Digital Resources Project. The SVHO images will also be available on the Online Archive of California.

Administration consisted of the Project Director, an Executive Committee made up of four Partners, and a Steering Committee made up of all of the SVHO Partners.

We anticipate expanding the project in years two and three, not only through the addition of more images from the seven original institutions, but also through the participation of other Santa Clara Valley repositories. Year two will focus on technology, and year three will focus on agriculture.

Project Manual

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One of our goals for the first year was to facilitate SVHO expansion by creating a project handbook. This groundwork will allow the project to continue, even if funding for centralized cataloging and project management is minimal. We hope these resources will be beneficial to other local and regional history digitization projects as well.



This project was supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

In-Kind Contributions

Project partners contributed time and equipment to supplement the grant. History San José (HSJ) provided both workspace and the time of HSJ Senior Archivist Paula Jabloner, who is acting as SVHO Project Director. Santa Clara University is hosting the site on their library web servers; San José State University provided web site and graphic design, as well as curriculum to accompany the images; the Intel Museum provided a server and workstation for project staff; and Santa Clara City Library has contributed to the public relations and promotion of the site.

Project Staff

Executive Committee

Steering Committee

Members of the Executive Committee and:

Library Student Assistance