Tag Archives: Preservation

Picturing Your Research – Finding, Procuring, and Preserving Images

Did you realize that you have a UNIQUE, never shared before collection of archival materials in your house right now? Your family photos!  Your research can come alive with images, but finding, scanning, and preserving them can be a daunting prospect. In this talk, we’ll look at all three—from the perspective of a designer, photographer, researcher, and archivist (in training). Michelle D. Novak will give us an introduction on how to best scan the images you have, ways to find images in collections to supplement your research, new online resources to help identify those mystery people, and share some tips for protecting the photos and artifacts for future generations. (P.S., It’s her favorite talk and a hot-topic!)

Michelle D. Novak is a brand designer at [MND] (mnd.nyc) which serves finserv, education, and technology clients; genealogist; and teacher. She is a Master of Information student (formerly, MLIS) at Rutgers University in archives and digitization, holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and certificates from Boston University, Gen-Fed, and the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh, among others. Novak is Trustee and Webmaster for the Genealogical Society of Bergen County (GSBC), New Jersey, and a former Trustee of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey (GSNJ). She also serves as Project Administrator for the GSNJ-NJSA New Jersey Early Land Records Project (a joint project between the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Archives); Editor of the GSBC’s national award-winning newsletter, The Archivist; and is involved with numerous transcription, indexing, publicity, and digitization projects.


Two National Endowment Deadlines

Spiral of Books

Public libraries and other organizations may now apply to the NEA Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with Arts Midwest. The application deadline is Thursday, January 24, 2019.

NEA Big Read is a community reading program centered on one of 32 selections from the NEA Big Read list. An applicant to participate in the NEA Big Read must propose at least a month-long series of events and programs that are designed around one selected book.

Requested grant funds ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 “may be used for such expenses as book purchases, speaker fees and travel, salaries, promotion, and venue rental.” Grant cost share is required and must be matched on a 1:1 basis in nonfederal dollars.

Applicants must complete two steps specific to the federal grant application process. An applicant must know its organizational DUNS number. An organization may search for or request one through Dun & Bradstreet Each applicant must also have a valid SAM (System for Awards Management) registration.

Several New Jersey libraries have received NEA Big Read awards over the last few years. Both returning and new applicants should be aware of a new application step instituted this year. As noted on the Guidelines and Application Instructions page, to start the process, an applicant must complete an online intent to apply form. After submitting the intent to apply form, an applicant will then receive a link to the full application. The application checklist (which includes a link to an offline application template in Word) will help keep applicants organized during the application process. NEA Big Read staff also developed a new “Survival Guide” to planning a community-wide reading program. The Survival Guide covers partnerships, marketing and promotion, and programming and events. Arts Midwest staff members are available to assist potential applicants by phone: (612) 238-8010 or by email: neabigread@artsmidwest.org.

National Endowment for the Humanities also has funding opportunities with January deadlines.

Small and mid-sized libraries with humanities collections should consider applying for a Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions. Grant funds (typically up to $6,000) help institutions such as libraries, museums, and historical societies to “improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Humanities collections may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials.”

The application will become available on November 15, 2018 and is due on January 15, 2019. Similarly to the NEA Big Read application process, National Endowment for the Humanities requires an applicant DUNS number, a valid SAM registration and, in addition, a grants.gov registration. NEH staff members in the Division of Preservation and Access are available by phone: (202) 606-8570 and by email: preservation@neh.gov.

NEH Funding Opportunity: Common Heritage

Scanning Word Graphic

Looking for funding sources for new initiatives at your public library? New Jersey State Library’s lib guide on Grant Information contains a specific section on Federal Grants. Libraries might find relevant funding opportunities through the

  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Science Foundation and
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services.

If your library wants to apply for a Federal grant, first visit grants.gov.

Grants.gov is the portal to both find and apply for Federal grants. To apply for a Federal grant, a library must acquire its DUNS number (a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet [D&B]), register with the System for Award Management (SAM, a government-wide registry for vendors doing business with the Federal government) and register with grants.gov. Completing these registration steps takes time! Allow as much time as possible for this process – ideally four weeks in advance of the application deadline.

As I noted in my last post, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has many funding opportunities for libraries, including several special programs. Their Common Good initiative “seeks to bring the humanities into the public square and foster innovative ways to make scholarship relevant to contemporary issues.” The Common Good initiative forms the basis of some new grant programs, including Common Heritage.

The Common Heritage grant program specifically aims to capture the cultural heritage found in a community’s private homes, family histories and individual life stories. In practice, Common Heritage grants make private historical records and artifacts digitally available to a wider public by supporting community “digitization days” and accompanying public programming.

According to the NEH website, “The program supports day-long events organized by community cultural institutions, which members of the public will be invited to attend.

At these events experienced staff will digitize the community historical materials brought in by the public. Project staff will also record descriptive information—provided by community attendees—about the historical materials. Contributors will be given a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials. With the owner’s permission, digital copies of these materials would be included in the institutions’ collections. Historical photographs, artifacts, documents, family letters, art works, and audiovisual recordings are among the many items eligible for digitization and public commemoration.”

The first grant awards under this program were made in December 2015. In Massachusetts, the Holyoke Public Library developed the project, “Nuestros Senderos: Las Historias de Nuestras Vidas en Holyoke [Our Paths: Stories of Life in Holyoke],” two day-long digitization events in predoScanning Word Graphicminantly Hispanic neighborhoods, to digitize cultural heritage materials held by members of the Latino community. In New Jersey, the Montclair Historical Society’s project, “Nubian Heritage Quilters Exhibition, Workshops, and Digitization Project,” is a collaborative effort between the Montclair Historical Society and the Nubian Heritage Quilters Guild to recognize the contributions of African American quilters and to educate members of local quilting guilds, as well as the community in and around Montclair, on the importance of documenting and preserving quilts and quilting traditions.

NEH especially welcomes applications from small and medium-sized institutions that have not previously received NEH support. Awards are up to $12,000 and no cost sharing is required. The application due date is May 12, 2016.

If your library needs assistance finding the right grant opportunity, please reach out to me at 609-278-2640 ext. 105.