Announcing METRO’s 2014 Digitization Grant Awards

by Anne-Karle Zenith, Digital Services Manager, METRO

METRO is pleased to announce that ten institutions in New York City and Westchester County have been awarded grant funding to support digitization projects that will expand access to important collections of historic and rare cultural heritage materials. 

METRO members selected to receive 2014 METRO Digitization Grants, totaling approximately $80,000, include Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Frick Art Reference Library, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, New York Historical Society, NYU Health Sciences Libraries, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Yeshiva University.

“Thanks to this generous support from METRO, we’ll be able to digitize a significant body of photographic materials that document New York City in the period 1882-1918,” said Henry Raine, Director of Digital Projects and Library Technical Services at the New-York Historical Society. “The Robert L. Bracklow Photograph Collection is one of the most important photograph collections at the N-YHS and includes many glass plate negatives that are rarely seen because they are so fragile and difficult to handle. The grant will allow us to digitize 1,500 of these glass negatives and add them to METRO’s digital library, making them widely available for the first time, and providing a significant resource for scholars, educators, students, and the general public.”

“Dating from their early years, the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) have grown into thriving urban arts centers that bring international artists, performing arts, media, and film to Brooklyn,” said Deirdre Lawrence, Principle Library at Brooklyn Museum. “These institutions grew up under the parentage of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts & Sciences and their activities offer insight on the development of these institutions, the changing face of New York City, and the evolution of the arts in the United States. This grant is a welcome opportunity to showcase the history of these institutions as documented through its publications which we now collaborate to digitize with funding received through METRO.”

Proposals were evaluated by a review committee made up of members the METRO community as well as outside digitization experts. Recommendations were presented and approved by METRO’s Digital Services Advisory Council.

"The review committee did a tremendous job stretching a limited pool of funds to support so many different projects, and I'm really pleased with the depth and breadth of awardees this year," said Jason Kucsma, METRO executive director.

The following projects selected to receive METRO digitization grants this year:

Collaborative Digitization Project Grants

Solo Digitization Project Grants

Digital Conversion MicroGrants:*

*These collections will be digitized via the Internet Archive’s scanning program.

About METRO Digitization Grants
Since 2005, METRO’s Digitization Grant Program has awarded over $750,000 to help fund 70 projects at 48 METRO member institutions. Grant funding is available to eligible members of METRO through a competitive application and review process. Grant recipients were selected based on evaluation measures designed to identify initiatives with the highest probability of successful outcomes. All of the projects will provide free online access to significant materials in the collections of METRO member institutions. METRO lends vital additional support for digitization projects through specialized education and training programs and opportunities for libraries to share expertise and best-practice digitization strategies.