05 February 2013

Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives -- Grant Program


Source: http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/328/7/5/we_don__t_know_what_we_don__t_know__by_eatthewords-d4h7c3m.jpg
As genealogists and family historians, we know that there is a lot of material that is hidden in archives and libraries and that we do not know about!  Yet, this same material would probably help us in our research. 

To help make that material more visible and accessible, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), has a grant program titled Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives.

As stated by the CLIR ...

Libraries, archives, and cultural institutions hold millions of items that have never been adequately described. This represents a staggering volume of items of potentially substantive intellectual value that are unknown and inaccessible to scholars. This program seeks to address this problem by awarding grants for supporting innovative, efficient description of large volumes of material of high value to scholars.

The Council on Library and Information Resources administers this national effort with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Since the program began in 2008, eighty-seven grants totaling nearly $20M have been made to a variety of institutions nationwide.

For institutions interested in applying, check out this page. Deadline is 23 March 2013.

Additionally, I found that the site has something called the “Hidden Collections Registry.”  What an intriguing name.  Of course, I had to check it out.  It appears to have started in 2008 and currently includes up through 2012. As described ...

This registry includes information that Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives staff have accumulated about unprocessed and recently processed library, archival, and museum collections. Use the criteria at right to browse records by subject, format, or type of holding institution. The word cloud below shows the relative representation of subjects among the registry’s collections, and may also be used to browse its records.

I searched on “North Carolina” and found these entries.


Did you search on an area (geographic or topical) you are interested in? Did you find a surprise and previously “hidden” collection that you were not aware of?



Editor’s Note: Thanks to Thomas MacEntee for posting about this grant opportunity on FB.




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