May 28, 2022

Funding: On These Grounds Digital Initiative to Describe the History of Enslavement at Colleges and Universities Receives $550,000 Mellon Foundation Grant

From Michigan St. University:

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Michigan State University (MSU) a grant of $550,000 to support the first phase of theOn These Grounds project, a digital initiative to describe the history of enslavement found in archival materials at colleges and universities. A collaboration of teams from Michigan State University, Georgetown University (GU), the University of Virginia (UVA), and the Omeka web publishing platform. On These Grounds will produce a freely available linked open data model that is robust enough to describe the lived experiences of the enslaved people who lived and labored in conjunction with higher educational institutions.


Over the past two decades many institutions of higher education have begun to publicly examine and embrace their historical roles in the injustices and legacies of slavery. Despite the similarities of record types, information sources, and data elements, each institution is taking its own, often duplicative approach to its history. Producing a common, shared approach to documenting, describing, and organizing the data derived from the archival records relating these histories, On These Grounds will help expand researchers’ understanding of the lives and experiences of the enslaved across these institutional contexts, and extend the possibility of search and discovery across collections.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

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.