As genealogists, we recognize the need to preserve family and historical records of the lives we are leading today for future generations.  We also appreciate the effort of organizations that see the value of digitizing and preserving records from the past before they are lost or destroyed.

The Portal to Texas History project began in 2002 with a goal to create "a digital gateway to historical materials" with a grant from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund of the State of Texas. By 2004, UNT launched its first site with just 5 partners, 6500 images and about 1000 researchers per month.  In 2010, The Portal has 130 collaborative partners, 900,000 digital images and 115,000 visitors each month from around the world.  It continues to add partners, images and users daily.

Portal Services for Educators was also launched in 2004 to provide resources to help teachers connect their students to original documents.  The Portal has been recognized by the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities. Recent grants from NEH and the Amon G. Carter Foundation are funding new projects for continued growth and sustainability.  Grants from the "Chronicling America" program fund projects for digitizing newspapers throughout Texas.

DGS is pleased to present this year’s Heritage Preservation Award to the Digital Projects Unit at the University of North Texas as the developer of The Portal to Texas History – for their vision and for their commitment to partnering with families, historical societies, universities, and other resources.

Accepting for the Digital Projects Unit at the University of North Texas is Dreanna Belden, Assistant Dean for External Relations.

Presenter: Sandra Crowley


--from Dallas Genealogical Society, December 11, 2010