PIERCETON - Learn about a new history scanning project and see a sampling of the photographs copied so far at "Picturing Pierceton: Images of Our Town Then and Now."

This slide presentation kicks off the Whitko-Area Digital Imaging Project. The program will be held Friday at 7 p.m. at the Old Pierceton Depot, 115 E. Market St. RSVP to the library at 574-594-5474.

The goal of this two-year project is to scan photographs of all five townships within the Whitko area, with phase one focusing on Pierceton, Sidney, and Washington, Monroe and Jackson townships in Kosciusko County. This collection will assist in the celebration of Pierceton's sesquicentennial in 2016. Scanning items of Cleveland and Richland townships in Whitley County will begin in the spring.

The Pierceton and Washington Township Library and the South Whitley-Cleveland Township Public Library are co-sponsors of this two-phase project. The Whitko Community Digital Image Project will create a digital pictorial archive of the five townships that comprise the district and make these items available on the Internet for use students, historians and local researchers. Funds to purchase equipment and pay part-time staff are being sought from local granting foundations and personal donations.

Over the next two years, project staff will scan historical materials from the 1830s to the present. The libraries will digitize items from existing collections as well as borrow items from individuals and organizations; professionally scan and catalog the images based on standards set by the Indiana State Library and Library of Congress; and make the records available free to the public via the online database Indiana Memory (www.in.gov/memories/). This statewide digital library is a collaboration of Indiana libraries, museums and archives. Back-ups of the high resolution scans will also be stored at local historical societies or colleges to ensure their long-term digital preservation.

The project is coordinated by Heritage Photo Services (owned by Pierceton native Joan Hostetler and her husband John M. Harris), a photograph preservation and archives management company based in Indianapolis. The scanning lab for phase one is located in the Pierceton Library.