Reprinted with permission from the Fall 1997, vol. 18, no. 4 issue of the AMIGOS publication, ¿Que Pasa?
Increasingly, we are asked for information on who is providing grants for digital imaging projects, and what type of projects are being funded.
A number of agencies and foundations have awarded grants for digital imaging projects. Many federal agencies offer funding. The National Endowment for the Humanities is a strong supporter of library and archives digital imaging projects. Currently, however, the NEH Division of Preservation and Access only funds demonstration projects and will not fund projects having the sole objective of converting collections.
The Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) of the Department of Commerce provides funding for projects that aim to enrich communities by providing broad access to arts, science, and cultural resources, and the delivery of on-line informational, educational, and cultural services from public libraries, museums and other cultural institutions. TIIAP will not provide funding for projects whose primary focus is the creation of databases or information resources by converting paper-based information, yet many projects funded by TIIAP have included significant imaging components.
The National Science Foundation has many opportunities, but it may take some work to tailor your project to NSF requirements. Other federal entities that should be investigated include the Institute of Museum and Library Services (through the Library Services and Technology Act and other programs) and the National Park Service.
A hybrid of a federal agency and a for-profit corporation, The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition (NDLC) funds the creation of digital collections of primary resources for inclusion in LC's American Memory virtual collection. In its first year, the NDLC awarded a total of nearly $600,000 to ten institutions around the country, including the University of Texas at Austin. The principal criteria for evaluation are the significance of the content relating to U.S. history and its interest to students and general public, the availability and usability of finding aids, and the viability of plan of work. Awards are a maximum of $75,000 for single institutions, and $150,000 for consortia.
Finally, private foundations are definitely worth a look. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for example, has been funding digital imaging quite actively. Other private foundations, especially those with a local or regional focus, should also be investigated.
Library of Congress/Ameritech
National Digital Library Competition
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-1340
Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance (TIIAP)
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Rm. 4092
Washington, DC 20230
National Endowment for the Humanities
Division of Preservation and Access
1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20506
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Office of Library Services
1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room 802
Washington, DC 20506
(For information regarding LSTA funding, contact your state library.)
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
140 East 62nd Street
New York, NY 10021