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James B. Duke Memorial Library Receives Access and Digitization Grant

Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 24, 2013) - The James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University has received a $94,417 grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) to digitize the James Gibson Peeler collection. The grant will enable the library to create an online exhibit of Peeler’s photographs documenting Charlotte’s African-American heritage and culture.

Peeler’s work as a photographer in Charlotte spanned almost half a century, from 1959 to 2003. The collection is one of the most comprehensive documentations of urban African American life in Charlotte. The LSTA grant will enable JCSU to provide access to this collective body of work for research on African Americans.

The Peeler family has entrusted the entire collection to the University. The HBCU Library Alliance LYRASIS Photographic Preservation grant provided the initial funding to process the collection and to hire a photo archivist to organize the photographs. The first phase of the current grant will be completed in June 2014. The second half of the grant will fund an online exhibit, according to

“Being able to provide access to historical photographs documenting the African American experiences is exciting,” said Monika Rhue, director of library services and manager on the project.   “Mr. Peeler was instrumental in capturing the social, political and cultural experiences of the Charlotte community. It is an honor to have the opportunity to preserve his photograph collection and share his legacy with the community.”

This grant was made possible by 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.

 About JCSU

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is an independent, close-knit urban university located in Charlotte, N.C. It has a growing national reputation for integrating the liberal arts with business, the sciences and technology in ways that empower tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurial citizens and leaders. Offering 21 fields of study to more than 1,600 students from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, the university’s excellent academic programs focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility. For more information about JCSU, visit or follow the university on social media sites Facebook , Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and  


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