May 19, 2022

University of Kansas: Black Book Interactive Project Aims to Close African-American Literature’s ‘Digital Divide’ with Help From $150,000 Grant

From the Lawrence Journal-World:

Scholars at the University of Kansas are now one step closer to realizing their goal of making African-American literature accessible to all, thanks to a recent grant from the American Council of Learned Societies.

The digital extension grant, totaling $150,000, will help fund the development of what KU calls “the first searchable digital collection” of previously unavailable and understudied novels by African-American authors. Led by Maryemma Graham, a University Distinguished Professor of English at KU, the Black Book Interactive Project’s new database aims to narrow the gap between the upward trend in digital, data-driven research and scholarship of African-American literature.


The Black Book Interactive Project: Extending the Reach is a creation of the much larger, much older Project on the History of Black Writing, which Graham helped establish 35 years ago while a graduate student at KU. The newer project, launched during the 2014-2015 school year, received initial funding from KU and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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See Also: ACLS Award Will Help Make More African-American Novels Available for Digital Research (July 9, 2018; via U. of Kansas)

See Also: University of Kansas: Metadata Project to Seek Trends, Themes in African-American Literature (September 15, 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.