The American Institute of Physics (AIP) announced today that it has received a three-year, $646,697 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to make a unique collection of rare books in the physical sciences universally accessible.
The grant will enable AIP’s Niels Bohr Library & Archives to provide global, digital access to the Wenner Collection, a carefully curated repository that features 3,800 volumes, dating back nearly five centuries. The grant will make the Wenner Collection accessible to the public for the first time, allowing for new use and engagement with these rare books.
By conducting comprehensive bibliographic description, according to national library standards, these rare books and publications will be discoverable to the world, not only through the Library’s online public access catalog, but also through WorldCat, an international library discovery tool. Included in the catalog will be provenance information related to past ownership or creation, including binding, printing, and publishing history.
Work on the project supported by the Sloan Foundation will begin January 2019, with the expectation that the Wenner Collection will be digitized and freely accessible to the public by December 2021.
“This collection’s historic and cultural value cannot be overstated — this is truly a remarkable fixture in the history of the physical sciences, and we are so thrilled to be partnering with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on this very important work,” said AIP CEO Michael Moloney.
The funding is provided through the Sloan Foundation’s Universal Access to Knowledge program, which seeks to harness advances in digital information technology to facilitate the openness and accessibility of all knowledge in the digital age for the widest public benefit under fair and secure conditions.
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