March 2022 Awards in Preservation & Access  

May 5, 2022
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed Sounddance at Jacob's Pillow in its last engagement during Cunningham's lifetime, 2009.
Photo caption

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed Sounddance at Jacob's Pillow in its last engagement during Cunningham's lifetime, 2009.

Credit: Photo by Karli Cadel, Courtesy Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Congratulations to the following organizations! Thirty-six awards were made for Preservation & Access Humanities Collections and Reference Resources projects. Two awards were made for Dynamic Language Infrastructure – Documenting Endangered Languages Senior Research Grants.  


Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation, North Hollywood, CA - Award: $350,000 

The digitization and migration to long-term storage of 932 oral histories comprising over 3,000 hours of first-hand accounts that document the history of the television industry. 

American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA - Award: $338,911 

Cataloging and digitizing 286 child-authored texts from the nineteenth century, ranging from diaries to amateur printed newspapers. The materials would be made available online, along with research and curricular guides for the collection, and featured in a two-day scholarly symposium and a virtual public program. 

American Film Institute, Los Angeles, CA - Award: $350,000 

The expansion of the AFI Catalog, the filmographic online database which documents the first 100 years of American cinema, by adding 45,000 titles and associated data for short films released from 1893 to 1933 and completing 6,000 records of short films from the silent film era.    

American Research Center in Egypt, Alexandria, VA - Award: $350,000 

A three-year implementation project to digitize and create online access to 26 archival collections of conservation records from sites in Egypt, ranging from prehistoric through Coptic, Islamic, and Jewish periods, and that are of interest to scholars, the public, and students and teachers. 

Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Buffalo, NY - Award: $70,511 

The digitization of 1,933 nitrate negatives from approximately 1920 to 1940, documenting the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, its research and educational activities, and scenes from the surrounding region.  

Center for Jewish History, New York, NY - Award: $350,000 

The arrangement and description of 1,475 linear feet of Council of Jewish Federations records dating from 1916 to 1999, as well as the digitization of 5,000 items selected from the collection. 

College of Saint Benedict, Saint Joseph, MN - Award: $59,976 

A Foundations project to assess archival materials, including 3,000 pages and 200 photos, held by the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict, documenting the Native American boarding school experience at the White Earth Mission School from the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Activities include creating an index of archival materials and developing a digitization plan and intellectual property protocols. 

Creighton University, Omaha, NE - Award: $349,460 

The development of a digital portal for access to journals, watercolors, and drawings of Indigenous peoples encountered on Maximilian von Wied and Karl Bodmer's expedition across North America from 1832 to 1834. The digital portal would offer multiple points of entry to the journals, artwork, a geocoded map, interpretive essays, and K-12 curriculum tools.  

Emory University, Atlanta, GA - Award: $46,630 

Planning for a digital bibliography of African-American serial publications in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Using the 6,500 entries in James Danky and Maureen Hady's African American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography (1998) as its basis, the project would integrate data from both open-source resources, such as Chronicling America, and proprietary databases, such as Readex’s Early American Newspapers and Accessible Archives.  

Florida International University, Miami, FL - Award: $50,000 

Enhanced access to the papers of Dana A. Dorsey, who, as Miami’s first Black millionaire, developed the city’s Colored Town (present day Overtown) in the early twentieth century. This work would include transcribing, georeferencing, and creating tabular data from the 291 records and 620 pages of legal documents that constitute the collection.  

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Inc., Becket, MA - Award: $350,000 

Digitizing and updating catalog records for 3,336 audiovisual materials featuring performances, oral histories, lectures, and master classes from the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival from 1992 to 2010. 

KYUK - Bethel Broadcasting Inc., Bethel, AK - Award: $350,000 

Reformatting and cataloging an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 hours of video and audio recordings documenting the traditional language, lifestyle, and culture of Yup’ik and Cup’ik Alaska Native people, which would be discoverable through the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.    

Library of Virginia Foundation, Richmond, VA - Award: $315,000 

The digitization of 250,000 separation notices of WWII-era service members and a crowdsourced transcription project to make them fully text searchable online. The library would also make the information from the notices available as a dataset for research.   

Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Honorable Discharge for Fred A. Walker
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Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Honorable Discharge for Fred A. Walker.

Credit: Virginia World War II History Commission, separation notices and reports, 1942-1950. Courtesy of the Library of Virginia.

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI - Award: $346,206 

The expansion of the Quilt Index to include nearly 3,900 new quilts, 100 pieces of ephemera, 54 oral histories, and expanded metadata representing African-American, African, and African Diasporic quilt history, as well as the development of up to 18 related resources, such as essays, lesson plans, and exhibits. 

National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation, Albuquerque, NM - Award: $350,000 

A collaborative project to digitize, describe, and make accessible a collection of Mexican-American art and related documents at the National Hispanic Cultural Center for inclusion on the museum’s website and the open-source aggregating portal Rhizomes of Mexican-American Art Since 1848. 

New-York Historical Society, New York, NY - Award: $350,000 

The digitization of 267 reels of microfilm containing the subject files from the Time Life news service correspondent wires dating from the 1930s to 1960. 

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL - Award: $348,920 

Digitizing 4,218 volumes of dime novels and story papers published by Frank Tousey. A partnership among five academic libraries—Northern Illinois University, Villanova University, Stanford University, Bowling Green State University, and Oberlin College—the project would provide images and full texts of the works, catalog records for the volumes, and indexed entries for the stories, series, and authors to augment an existing online bibliography of dime novels.  

“The Man in Black,” created by Francis W. Doughty, is a cloaked vigilante who appears in Frank Tousey’s Boys of New York story paper.
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“The Man in Black,” created by Francis W. Doughty, is a cloaked vigilante who appears in Frank Tousey’s Boys of New York story paper.

Credit: Boys of New York, no. 383 (December 16, 1882) digitized from the Edward T. LeBlanc Collection, courtesy of Northern Illinois University Libraries.

Ohio University, Athens, OH - Award: $50,000 

Digital preservation assessment, rehousing, and creation of a new finding aid for over 2,000 audio and audio-visual materials dating from 1936 through 2001 in the Alwin Nikolais and Murry Louis Dance Collection at the Ohio University Libraries’ Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections. The project team also would develop workflows and build relationships for incorporating metadata from expert sources. 

 Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - Award: $348,670 

The addition of 200 entries to Encyclopedia Virginia to make more inclusive its coverage of the Revolutionary era (1763–1800) and the addition of primary sources, artifacts, lesson plans, and digital public history experiences, all in preparation for the 250th anniversary of American independence. 

Regents of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM  - Award: $348,965 

Digitizing and cataloging approximately 15,000 pages of correspondence from the Amador family papers (1856–1949), which document the family’s personal and business activities in the border region of southern New Mexico and northern Chihuahua, Mexico. The primary sources would be made available through the library’s digital collections website. 

San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA - Award: $234,820 

The arrangement, description, and rehousing of 544 linear feet, which constitute the institutional archives for the San Francisco Art Institute, founded in 1871. Approximately 41 finding aids would be posted to the organization website and Online Archive of California, and 23 hours of at-risk audiovisual materials would be digitized and made available on the Internet Archive.  

 School of Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL - Award: $60,000 

The development of a processing plan and pilot of an online project portal for archival collections representing six independent Chicago art galleries and totaling 800 linear feet of materials, including exhibition files, promotional materials, administrative records, correspondence, publications, photographs, slides, and audiovisual materials from 1973 to the early 2010s.  

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Fayetteville, AR - Award: $50,000 

A Foundations project to undertake a collections assessment, design a geo-database, and establish metadata and digitization protocols for archaeological data from two areas around the site of Cholula (Puebla), Mexico, an important pre-Columbian urban and religious center, occupied through the conquest. 

University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA  - Award: $50,000 

A Foundations project to plan for the preservation and access of a multimedia collection chronicling the experience of incarcerated people in California during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA - Award: $350,000 

The identification and description of 152 Syriac parchment manuscripts from St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), development of a data collection tool, and contribution of content to the Sinai Manuscripts Digital Library. 

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL - Award: $348,930 

A collaborative project to digitize, georeference, and make maps and atlases of Chicago published before 1940 accessible online. The project would include 1,167 maps from the Newberry Library, 2,934 maps from the Chicago History Museum, and 1,015 maps from the University of Chicago.  

University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI - Award: $350,000 

The digitization of 890 audiovisual assets spanning eight collections that document Hawaiian history and culture from the 1920s to 2000s.   

University of Illinois, Champaign, IL - Award: $59,571 

A pilot project to create a digital collection of 20 African-Arabic manuscripts from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University with images, translations, and brief essays. 

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA -  Award: $350,000 

Preserving and providing access to the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, a collection of over 75,000 pieces, including artists’ books, typography, and other artistic works that combine writing and images. The project would produce an archival finding aid for the collection, catalog records for approximately 4,500 items, and a website featuring collection highlights. 

University of Nebraska, Board of Regents, Lincoln, NE - Award: $350,000 

Development of the Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education (COVE) with three areas of focus: implementation of more robust data standards for long-term use, expansion of content with over 80 titles concentrating especially on non-canonical and global literatures, and enhancements of the COVE website to facilitate pedagogically focused digital humanities work with literary texts.  

University of Oklahoma, Norman, Norman, OK - Award: $345,494 

An Implementation project to create access through a collections database to Native-language holdings in the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma. Activities include metadata enhancement, digitization, software development, and development of a web portal for access.   

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA - Award: $50,000 

A Foundations project to plan for the accessibility of a dataset documenting demographics and social change in the city of Los Angeles and 86 Los Angeles County municipalities between 1950 and 2010.  

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI  - Award: $326,326 

The arrangement and description of 1,000 linear feet of artifacts and ephemera, including the digitization of 2,000 items, documenting the history of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, medicines, and public health in the U.S. from 1850 to the late twentieth century.  

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC - Award: $58,005 

Planning for the creation of a fully searchable corpus of Maria Edgeworth’s letters through crowdsourced transcription, expert annotation, and TEI-encoding. Her letters are held at 26 libraries across the United States and United Kingdom, and this would be the first effort to unite them digitally.

Washington College, Chestertown, MD - Award: $59,809 

Planning further development of Washington College Starr Center’s “Chesapeake Heartland: An African American Humanities Project” through an expansion of its digital collections and community engagement activities. Identified contributing partners would include four repositories that hold materials related to more than two centuries of African-American history on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

Yale University, New Haven, CT  - Award: $350,000 

The development of the Yale Digital Dura-Europos Archive (YDEA), a digital archive of materials related to the archaeological site of Dura-Europos, Syria, a multicultural center of the ancient world that has been threatened in recent years by looting and conflict. 

Dynamic Language Infrastructure – Documenting Endangered Languages Senior Research Grants

Fort Sill Apache Tribe, Apache, Oklahoma - Award: $385,321 

The restoration of archival digital recordings documenting the sound heritage of the Apache prisoners of war who were seized with Geronimo in 1886 and the transcription, translation, and linguistic analysis of the Chihene Apache dialect preserved in these recordings.  

North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, North Fork, California - Award: $370,731 

The creation of an annotated documentation corpus of at least 10 hours of digital video recordings of natural language in Western Mono, a critically endangered Uto-Aztecan language of California, along with transcriptions and translations, to be archived at the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages.

Arriving troops of the 10th Mountain Division March under the "Welcome Home" Arch at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia
Photo caption

Arriving troops of the 10th Mountain Division March under the "Welcome Home" Arch at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia.

Credit: U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph Collection. Courtesy of the Library of Virginia.