March 2023 Awards in Preservation & Access  

June 8, 2023
Allison McCormack and Marnie Powers-Torrey
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Allison McCormack (center) and Marnie Powers-Torrey (left) lead a project to improve access to artists' books and fine press books at the University of Utah.

Congratulations to the following institutions! Thirty-six awards were made for Preservation & Access Humanities Collections and Reference Resources projects, and two   awards were made for Dynamic Language Infrastructure – Documenting Endangered Languages Senior Research Grants in March 2023.


Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL - Award: $312,177 

Processing 125 linear feet of historical records and creating two finding aids for the Alabama State Teachers Association and the Alabama Democratic Conference collections. The project would also send 30 boxes to the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) for mold remediation.

Arhoolie Foundation, El Cerrito, CA - Award: $50,000 

The basic processing and creation of finding aids for seven core archival collections at the Arhoolie Foundation, as well as reports outlining the selection of digital asset management and preservation systems and the identification of items in the collection needing digitization and further processing.

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ - Award: $349,895

Providing digital access to approximately 4,000 resources resulting from the archaeological fieldwork at La Quemada, located in the Malpaso Valley in Zacatecas, Mexico. The materials include notebooks, field reports, published findings, and maps, as well as datasets and images of the site’s features, architecture, excavations, and artifacts.

Chickaloon Native Village, Chickaloon, AK - Award: $339,994

The development of a digital, online archive preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the Chickaloon Native Village, whose ancestral territory spans the Upper Cook Inlet of southcentral Alaska and Canada.

East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN - Award: $49,600

A Foundations project to plan for an updated and interactive online edition of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia. The work would include creating a list of articles and potential authors, documenting standard operating procedure for editorial work and content creation, developing a sustainability plan for future support and updates, and designing a website.

Five Colleges, Inc., Amherst, MA - Award: $350,000

A project to clean and standardize data describing collections of six museums and representing 120,000 cultural resources, which would result in enhanced discoverability online, more equitable description, and improved sustainability of the resource.

A schedule from the 1926 Census of Religious Bodies, describing an Advent Christian Church congregation in a rural community in North Carolina.
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A schedule from the 1926 Census of Religious Bodies, describing an Advent Christian Church congregation in a rural community in North Carolina.

Digitized from a collection at the National Archives and Records Administration by the American Religious Ecologies Project

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA - Award: $350,000

The digitization of approximately 130,000 schedules from the 1926 U.S. Census of Religious Bodies, association of the records with spatial data, and transcription of the data for a subset of congregations.

Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc., St. Paul, MN - Award: $135,770.80

An implementation project to arrange, rehouse, and describe 22 collections that document the experiences of the African American community in St. Paul, MN , after the Great Migration. The project would produce 15 finding aids and digitize 16 film reels.

Hula Preservation Society, Kaneohe, HI - Award: $299,517

The creation of an Indigenous-centered Controlled Vocabulary to enhance the description of video oral histories with Native Hawaiian elders. The project would also produce guidelines for developing Indigenous-centered subject headings and preferred terms.

Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, IN - Award: $325,582

The processing and digitization of the Paulin S. Vieyra Collection documenting the life and career of the African filmmaker.

Kent State University, Kent, OH - Award: $165,858

The digitization of 106 fashion illustration books dating from 1944 to 1994 and 226 pressbooks dating from 1942 to 1992 by designer Pauline Trigère (1908– 2002).

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI - Award: $349,779.05

Preserving and making accessible 34,923 photographs by Willis E. Bell, an American photographer who lived in Accra, Ghana, from 1957 to 1999.

Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS - Award: $349,860

The transcription and annotation of the papers of Mississippi state governors from 1859 to 1882, including official correspondence, military telegrams, and letters and petitions from the public.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Inc., New Orleans, LA - Award: $179,568

The cataloging and digitization of 806 audiovisual assets from the Amy Nesbitt and Heritage Collections of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Archives.  

Northeast Historic Film, Bucksport, ME - Award: $340,961

The digitization of approximately 2,700 hours of newsfilm from Maine’s eight local and public broadcasting stations documenting state history and culture from 1953 to 2008.

Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA - Award: $330,678

The digitization, description, and preservation of 22,500 images and related documents from the Religious News Service collection. The digitized images would be made publicly available via the Presbyterian Historical Society’s digital repository, and the project would support the physical rehousing of the entire collection of 60,000 photo files.

Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA - Award: $280,883

A project to migrate PhiloBiblon’s four siloed databases of medieval Iberian primary source texts to a Wikibase data model for greater access to resources and documentation.

San Diego Air and Space Museum, Berkeley, San Diego, CA - Award: $334,415

The cataloging, rehousing, and digitization of 120,000 image negatives from the Convair collection, which documents aerospace projects and workers from 1923 to 1996, as well as the updating of the collection’s related finding aid.

Texas A & M University, College Station, College Station, TX - Award: $349,959

A project to expand data related to the primary sources included in, an online hub that hosts an advanced corpus of Syriac texts in translation, alongside contextual discovery tools.

Trustees of Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA - Award: $50,000

Producing 76 transcriptions in Mayan-Spanish and/or Kaqchikel, as well as 24 English language transcripts, of oral histories related to the genocide of Indigenous Maya people in Guatemala from 1960–1996 which are held at the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive.

Trustees of Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA - Award: $350,000

The digitization of approximately 1,150 Haitian artworks which are located at two sites in Haiti and one in New Jersey. These items would be cataloged and, along with 1,266 already-digitized materials, incorporated into a multi-lingual database titled the Haitian Arts Digital Crossroads (HADC), which would be developed as part of the project.

Trustees of Reservations, Boston, MA - Award: $345,270.71

Preserving and providing access to the Colonel John Ashley Papers (1755–1818) and the Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) Archives (1977–2014). The project would result in new housing and finding aids for 98 linear feet of materials, three treated and digitized Ashley account books, over 35,500 digitized BNAN slides, and 300 digitized photographs of the Ashley House.

Trustees of Tufts College, Inc., Somerville, MA - Award: $348,881

A project to expand data related to Greek and Latin sources that is part of the Perseus Digital Library, the largest online open-access reference collection of Greco-Roman culture and language. 

University of Louisville, Louisville, KY - Award: $50,000

A project to establish digital cataloguing procedures and a pilot searchable collections database of archaeological collections from the Lower Ohio River Valley.  

University of Maine System, Orono, ME - Award: $349,930

The digitization and description of over 35,000 pages of personal papers, social club records, publications, and artwork, as well as 58 oral histories, for inclusion in the Franco American Digital Archive/Portail franco-américain (FADA/PFA). 35,523 digitized Maine noncitizen registration records from 1940 would receive enhanced description and be added to FADA/PFA as well.

University of North Texas, Denton, ME - Award: $58,052

The creation of a cross-institutional digital collection of binders volumes by establishing a new metadata schema, piloting the digitization of 10 binder’s volumes, and integrating the catalog records of over 400 more volumes.

University of Oklahoma, Norman, Norman, OK - Award: $349,887

The expansion of Coptic Scriptorium, an open-access database of Coptic language texts, and the development of digitized corpora, data models, and natural language tools for several Coptic dialects.

University of Oklahoma, Norman, Norman, OK - Award: $47,487

The planning stage of creating a digital public platform of Indigenous Knowledge through oral histories, music, and audiovisual materials in partnership with Native American community members. The Indigenous Media Portal would draw content from selected archival photographs, broadcasts, and other media housed at the University of Oklahoma, along with new audiovisual materials created with Tribal members.

University of Puerto Rico, Cayey University College, Cayey, PR -  Award: $343,983

The preservation of and access to approximately 2,000 born digital items that document community-led responses to Hurricane María and other recent disasters between 2018 and 2022. The materials for this project were collaboratively collected with seven community-based organizations and would result in a bilingual virtual archive, a web portal on the Internet Archive, and a bilingual companion reference book.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX - Award: $349,931

The preservation, expansion, and elaboration of two collections of bilingual sociolinguistic interviews, which document language varieties along the U.S.-Mexico border—the Corpus Bilingue del Valle (CoBiVa) and the Corpus del Espanol en sel Sur de Arizona (CESA). 

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT - Award: $289,753

Hiring a project assistant to enhance the catalog records for 1,800 artists’ books and 660 fine press books in the Rare Books Collection at the University of Utah, as well as for 240 artists’ books from the university’s Fine Arts Library.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI - Award: $298,292

The digitization of 863 original videotapes produced by artist Wendy Clarke for a series of 15 video projects dating from the 1970s to 1990s that explored themes of love, community, culture, and self-reflection across multiple underrepresented communities.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA - Award: $49,999

The planning phase of a project that aims to make accessible seventeenth-century county court accounts of escape attempts of the Chesapeake Bay’s unfree people through digitization, guiding documents, transcriptions, a database, and a plan for expansion and broad, long-term accessibility and outreach.  

West Virginia Research Corporation, Morgantown, WV  - Award: $349,580

A multi-institutional project to advance the content and technical development of the American Congress Digital Archives Portal, which aggregates online the personal papers of former members of the United States Congress.  

WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh, PA -  Award: $196,071.41                

The digitization of 2,000 media assets relating to the Black experience in Pittsburgh, PA from WQED Multimedia.     

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York, NY  -  Award: $349,525

The arrangement and description of 122 linear feet of archival materials from four collections documenting Jewish immigrant involvement in the U.S. labor movement, as well as the digitization of 293,000 pages from those collections.

The Hula Preservation Society’s project will enhance access to oral history interviews with Native Hawaiian Hula Elders.
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The Hula Preservation Society’s project will enhance access to oral history interviews with Native Hawaiian Hula Elders.

Courtesy of the Hula Preservation Society

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL -  Award: $225,169

The creation of a dynamic repository for a growing collection of materials at the University of Chicago that document the Indigenous languages of Mesoamerica.

University of North Texas, Denton, TX -  Award: $377,135

The expansion of a corpus of Lamkang (lmk, South Central Tibet-Burman) texts, constructed from first-person narratives, that document language change related to migration and relocation due to environmental changes.