Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives
Collections relating to public-broadcasting and other audiovisual collections are among 18 projects that have been granted 2019 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Awards from The Council on Library and Information Resources, announced today [9 January 2020].
The Council on Library and Information Resources, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning, announced more than $4.1 million in awards for projects involving 58 institutions in 17 U.S. states and (for the first time) Canada and that cover subjects ranging from natural history and biodiversity to indigenous history, public media, and modern art.
The Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards, which are funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, support the creation of digital representations of rare content of high scholarly significance.
CLIR will begin accepting applications for a new Digitizing Hidden Collections cycle in late January 2020.
Three moving-image collections won awards:
Thinking Out Loud: Digitizing 80 Years of Lectures and Public Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Art Institute received $103,453 to digitize and make available online its Lectures and Public Programs Collection, a repository of audio and video recordings, transcripts, and ephemera documenting 80 years of SFAI lectures and symposiums. The collection contains resources in various disciplines including art and art history, architecture, sociology, and science. Highlights include the 1949 Western Round Table on Modern Art featuring Marcel Duchamp and Frank Lloyd Wright; a series of landmark symposiums focusing on multiethnic arts and issues of representation; and lectures by a remarkable range of speakers including Angela Davis, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Rauschenberg, and Carrie Mae Weems.
In 1997 in the Institute’s Lectures and Public Programs series, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson, chair of the film department at the San Francisco Art Institute and professor emeritus at the University of California at Davis, presented her Conceiving Ada, the first film to use virtual sets. Tilda Swinton played the mathematician Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, who wrote the first computer program, which Charles Babbage named “Enchantress of Numbers.”
New Mexico Public Media
The New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project has received $485,271 for a statewide collaboration that will digitize, preserve, and provide access via the American Archive of Public Broadcasting to the collections of public-media stations in New Mexico. Stations in the NMPM project have created original programming about communities that are underrepresented and often marginalized.
The collection currently resides on obsolete and deteriorating video and audio formats of 1”, ¾” beta, ¼” and cassette audio tape. The project includes original programming from 1970 to 2018 that provides a e chronicle of New Mexico’s political, social, cultural and artistic life.
The Library of Congress will preserve digital copies, and the collection will be made available on the AAPB website.
Kansas Public Media Preservation Project
With its award, the Kansas Public Media Preservation Project will digitize, preserve, and make publicly accessible 2,269 hours of historic public television and radio programming created by a consortium of Kansas stations. It includes KMUW-FM, KHCC-FM, High Plains Public Radio-FM, KPR-FM, KRPS-FM, KCUR-FM, Vietnamese Public Radio, Smoky Hills Public Television, and KPTS-TV. The magnetic-media collection is currently inaccessible and deteriorating on obsolete formats. Stations will contribute digital copies to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a collaboration of the Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston which currently lacks content from Kansas.
Other awardees were:
Black Mountain College
The Asheville Art Museum received $163,694 to digitize its Black Mountain College Collection materials and create the Digital BMC Collection and Interconnective Timeline. The museum will digitize hundreds of never-before-seen archival documents and literature, works of art, furniture, and more.
Archaeological Research in Indiana
Ball State University’s Applied Anthropology Laboratories received $250,000 to digitize reports, maps, and artifacts relating to Indiana’s occupation history from the earliest (~11,500 B.C.) pre-contact American Indian land-use and ceremonial behaviors through frontier military engagements, historic American Indian village/settlements, and 20th Century farmsteads.
City University of New York’s Audiovisual Heritage
CUNY Television received $117,146 to digitize and make accessible audiovisual collections of organizations in the CUNY system that do not have active audiovisual preservation programs. These collections were produced or acquired to meet particular educational goals but have had limited ongoing educational impact. They represent such subjects as education, criminal justice, urban development, and New York’s Puerto Rican communities. CUNY TV says it plans to draw together the collections together to create a more effective educational asset for students, researchers, and the public.
Early State Records West of the Appalachians
Law Library Microform Consortium received $244,537 to digitize the 507-reel Microfilm Collection of Early State Records of the United States, a trove of primary source materials for 26 states and territories West of the Appalachians, covering early territorial times to the 1940s.
Michigan Miner Employee Records
Michigan Technological University received $240,014 for its collection of 40,000 employee records and labor experience of the Calumet & Hecla Copper Mining Company, and to integrate the records into the Copper Country HSDI, an interactive historical atlas accessible through the Keweenaw Time Traveler.
Labrador Inuit and Moravian Missionaries
The Moravian Archives, Bethlehem (MAB) received $168,349 to digitize manuscript records of the Moravian mission province of Labrador, Canada, 1764-1944, including printed materials in the Inuttitut language.
U.S. Indian Boarding Schools
The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS), the Ziibiwing Center for Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways, and the Indigenous Digital Archive (IDA) received $499,793 to digitize and catalog records related to 8 Indian boarding schools across 5 different states, making them more accessible to boarding school survivors, their descendants, and the general public.
The Greer Lankton Collection
The Mattress Factory Museum and the University of Pittsburgh received $209,527 to digitize and make accessible artwork, ephemera, periodicals, photographs, photo albums, slides and negatives, journals, and correspondence documenting the life and work of transgender artist, Greer Lankton (1958-1996).
Land Claims in California
The University of California at Berkeley received $246,666 to digitize records relating to an Act passed by the US Congress in 1851 that required Spanish and Mexican land grant holders to present proof of title to their land. It resulted in most Mexican Californians losing their titles.
University of Michigan Natural History Collections
The University of Michigan received $98,046 to digitize 1300 rare works from the University of Michigan Museums and Herbarium Libraries’ special collections, including color scans of their image content, and make those works available to the biodiversity research community via deposit in HathiTrust Digital Library.
Midwest Medieval Manuscript Collections
Indiana University at Bloomington, leading a consortium of several other institutions, received $286,436 to digitize and catalog 67 codices and 420 medieval manuscript fragments from 25 Midwestern colleges and universities, most not major research institutions.
Esther Funk Collection
University of La Verne received $59,200 to create public digital access to the Esther Funk Collection, including her hand-crafted books and the Central and South American textiles she collected in the 1930s.
South Carolina Civil Rights
University of South Carolina Libraries’ Digital Collections received $205,693 to scan material from its records of the South Carolina Council on Human Relations, primary sources of the role of African Americans in South Carolina in civil-rights struggles from the 1930s through the 1970s.
Virginia Tech Insect Collection
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Insect Collection, the oldest and largest entomological collection in Virginia, received $244,752 to digitize, describe, and provide access to 15,000 pinned insect specimens through high resolution photos and 400 high resolution 3D models.
Houston’s African American and Jewish heritage
Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University received $72,086 to provide public access to collections highlighting the history and experiences of African-American and Jewish communities in and near Houston, to shed light on nationally significant issues including politics, art, race, and religion.