Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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Washington University Libraries-St. Louis (WUSTL) has been awarded a two-year, $250,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to support the “Revealing Visual Culture: Digitizing Modern Illustrated Periodical Tear Sheets in the Walt Reed Illustration Archive” project. The project will create digital images and supporting metadata for 150,000 tear sheets contained in the Walt Reed Illustration Archive. During the two-year project, an outside vendor will create digital files and initial metadata, and WUSTL Libraries staff will supervise student assistants to enhance the metadata and perform quality control. The resulting image database will be completely available to the public. WUSTL Libraries has also been awarded a two-year, $517,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the “Documenting the Now” project. Formed as a collaboration with University of California-Riverside and University of Maryland, the project will build from Washington University’s Documenting Ferguson work and related efforts to develop a cloud-based application that will enable researchers to gather and analyze social media posts on Twitter related to social movements. Grant funds will support the hiring of a project coordinator at WUSTL Libraries, as well as contract programmers who will work with the tech development team located at University of Maryland’s Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Southern Historical Collection (SHC) in Wilson Library has received a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to help establish a permanent African American Collections and Outreach archivist. The new position will lead the effort to collect the untold stories of African American communities, something the SHC views as critical to improving historical research and understanding. The library is already working to raise the $1.5 million required to meet the grant challenge. In addition to acquiring significant materials for SHC, the archivist will partner with African American communities in the South to help them tell their own stories by identifying and preserving documents, recordings, photographs, and memorabilia. Carolina archivist Chaitra Powell believes this emerging model of “community-driven archives” has already proven fruitful. Powell and the SHC have already realized successes through a partnership with the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, relationships with the African American communities of the Triangle, and a collaboration with sociologist Karida Brown and the historically black coal mining town of Lynch, Kentucky, which is now building a community archive.

The University of Florida has been awarded awarded $79,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the digitization of 30 out-of-print books on the history and culture of Florida and the Caribbean. In partnership with University Press of Florida, the Florida Humanities Council, and the George A. Smathers Libraries, the University of Florida will make the digital books freely available online and in electronic formats. This particular collection has strong geographical ties and scholastic importance to Florida-based groups, such as the Florida Humanities Council, Leadership Florida, and Florida Teacher’s Workshops. The scope of books selected for this project reflects this integration and interchangeability of the material to suit the needs of scholars, educators, and new generations of Floridians. Dissemination of the project’s products will take place through e-file distribution of titles to such outlets as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple as a means for promoting availability of books in this collection.

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin has received a $126,730 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to digitize more than 24,000 pages from the Gabriel García Márquez archive. Beginning in June 2016, the 18-month project, titled “Sharing ‘Gabo’ with the World: Building the Gabriel García Márquez Online Archive from His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center,” will involve scanning manuscripts, notebooks, scrapbooks, photographs, and ephemera from the archive and making them accessible online. The project will include the implementation of Mirador Image Viewer, which will allow researchers to see side-by-side comparisons of digitized texts within a single interface, helping them identify successive stages of revision among drafts. The freely accessible online archive will also serve as an introduction to those not accustomed to using archival materials, demonstrating the valuable resource that archives provide. Finding aids in English and Spanish describe the García Márquez archive, which opened for research October 21, 2015.


The University of West Georgia has completed processing the papers of William G. Roll (1926–2012), a parapsychologist who investigated poltergeists, co-coined the term recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis with J. G. Pratt while at Duke University, and frequently guest starred on the television show Unsolved Mysteries. Roll and the Psychical Research Foundation relocated to Carrollton, Georgia, from North Carolina in 1986, and Roll brought a world renowned reputation to the Psychology Department at the University of West Georgia. The nearly 200 feet of archival materials include photographs and audio recordings of his international poltergeist investigations and kitchen cutlery bent into curlicues allegedly using only the power of the mind.

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