Mellon Foundation Funds Digitizing Hidden Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices • CLIR

“The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has been granted a $5,000,000 award from the Mellon Foundation to bolster the Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices regranting program and related operations.

This highly anticipated renewal continues the decisive shift in thematic focus, with a strong emphasis on collections of historically marginalized individuals, and aims to amplify voices, work, experiences, and perspectives that have been insufficiently recognized or unattended. Since its establishment in 2015, Digitizing Hidden Collections has made a significant impact by distributing over $28 million to digitally capture and share rare and unique content in cultural memory institutions.

The forthcoming call, Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices, is set to create a groundbreaking opportunity for eligible nonprofit organizations in the US and Canada to digitize materials in any format. By providing essential funding to a diverse cohort of academic, independent, and community-based organizations, CLIR seeks to unlock access to previously unavailable or underutilized collections. This move is expected to foster broader recognition of the immense value in preserving resources that document the history of marginalized people to the advancement of social justice….”

Digital Library of the Middle East Implements Major Upgrades • CLIR

“The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), Qatar National Library, and Stanford University Libraries today announced several major improvements to the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME).

The public, open DLME platform, released in July 2020, aggregates digital records of published materials, documents, maps, artifacts, audiovisual recordings, and more from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Viewers can access nearly 134,000 digital records of materials spanning more than 12 millennia held in museums, libraries, and archives worldwide. The site is fully navigable in Arabic and English….”

Digital Library of the Middle East – DLME

“The Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) offers free and open access to the rich cultural legacy of the Middle East and North Africa by bringing together collections from a wide range of cultural heritage institutions. Developed by an engineering team from CLIR and Stanford Libraries, the platform federates and makes accessible data about collections from around the world….”

Grant aids project by IU, other institutions to digitize medieval manuscripts: News at IU: Indiana University

“Indiana University Bloomington and a consortium of higher-learning institutions have received a three-year grant for The Peripheral Manuscripts Project: Digitizing Medieval Manuscript Collections in the Midwest, which will create a digital repository and catalog of medieval manuscripts across Midwestern collections. 

The Council on Library and Information Resources awarded $281,936.10 for the project. IU Bloomington will serve as host for the grant, which was one of 18 projects receiving more than $4.1 million that the Council on Library and Information Resources announced Jan. 9 for its 2019 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards….”

Images of Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access: A Study of 11 Museums

“No museum that has made the transition to open access for the images in its collection would return to its previous approach. Although challenges are still being resolved, such as the additional workload and the potential uncertainty about where images of works from their collections have been published, museum staff cited the satisfaction that comes from fulfillment of the museum’s mission as a tremendous positive. Most institutions are experiencing greater internal (and in the case of the Yale museums, university-wide) collaboration than in the past between museum departments and attribute this in part to their move to open access….”

View of Open Data Meets Digital Curation: An Investigation of Practices and Needs

Abstract:  In the United States, research funded by the government produces a significant portion of data. US law mandates that these data should be freely available to the public through ‘public access’, which is defined as fully discoverable and usable by the public. The U.S. government executive branch supported the public access requirements by issuing an Executive Directive titled ‘Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded ScientificResearch’ that required federal agencies with annual research and development expenditures of more than $100 million to create public access plans by 22 August 2013. The directive applied to 19 federal agencies, some with multiple divisions. Additional direction for this initiative was provided by the Executive Order ‘Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information’  which was accompanied by a memorandum with specific guidelines for information management andinstructions to find ways to reduce compliance costs through interagency cooperation.In late 2013, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to conduct a project to help IMLS and its constituents understand the implications of the US federal public access mandate and howneeds and gaps in digital curation can best be addressed. Our project has three research components: (1) a structured content analysis of federal agency plans supporting public  access to data and publications, identifying both commonalities and differences among plans; (2) case studies (interviews and analysis of project deliverables) of seven projects previously funded by IMLS to identify lessons about skills, capabilities and institutional arrangements that can facilitate data curation activities; and (3) a gap analysis of continuing education and readiness assessment of the workforce. Research and cultural institutions urgently need to rethink the professional identities of those responsible for collecting, organizing, and preserving data for future use. This paper reports on a project to help inform further investments.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – News & Announcements – PHS shares grant to digitize 18th, 19th century church records

“PHILADELPHIA The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has awarded a prestigious Digitizing Hidden Collections grant to an interdenominational consortium of institutions holding historic records of Philadelphia congregations. The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), the national archives of the PC(USA), is one of the consortium’s 11 collecting groups. The project was one of 14 recommended for funding in 2017 out of 118 applicants. The $385,000 grant award enables the consortium to digitize and share online more than 41,000 pages of records from the years 1708 to 1870, including baptismal, marriage, bar mitzvah and burial information.”

2015 Funded Projects — Council on Library and Information Resources

“The following eighteen projects were selected from among one hundred sixty-seven proposals submitted in 2015.


This is the first group of projects supported by the Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program. Like its predecessor program, Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives (2008-2014), Digitizing Hidden Collections funds projects in which locally executed protocols contribute to a national good, using methods that are cost efficient and subject to wider adoption. It supports the creation of digital representations of unique content of high scholarly significance that will be discoverable and usable as elements of a coherent national collection….”