January 25, 2022

HBCU Library Alliance and CLIR Receive Grant to Study Feasibility for Large-Scale Survey of HBCU Archives

From the Council on Library and Information Resources:

The HBCU Library Alliance and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) have received a $75,000 planning grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project titled “Creating Access to HBCU Library Alliance Archives: Needs, Capacity, and Technical Planning.” The project will identify common barriers and shared visions for creating access to historic collections held by libraries at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The rare and unique collections in the care of HBCUs, from historic documents to photographic prints and audiovisual media, contain a wealth of information about African American history, culture, and lives. However, many of these materials remain inaccessible. The project will enable the HBCU Library Alliance to envision how its 76 member institutions will work together to preserve, describe, and digitize the unique collections they steward.

“This project is a critical step to enable the discovery of previously ‘hidden’ primary resources at HBCUs that will enrich and broaden the existing body of knowledge about the African American experience,” said HBCU Library Alliance Executive Director Sandra Phoenix. “These archival collections will inform the scholarship produced by students, faculty, and other researchers, strengthening the accuracy and authenticity of the historical accounts about a resilient and accomplished race of people. The HBCU Library Alliance is so pleased to collaborate with CLIR to implement this exciting project.”


CLIR President Charles Henry underlines the significance of the project: “Creating access to the archives of HBCU libraries is both timely and urgent. Making collections that center Black lives and histories widely available to all will enable us to fill gaps in both personal and public histories. CLIR remains committed to amplifying the voices of people whose stories have not yet been widely heard because of a lack of sufficient access, and we stand to learn valuable lessons from the HBCU library leaders and staff who will manage and contribute to this planning effort.”

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.