Digitization Grant Program

In January 2005, METRO launched its Digitization Grant Program as an effort to support digitization projects involving significant collections held by METRO member libraries in New York City and Westchester County. This initiative is supported in part by funds from the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases Program.

Since that time, METRO has awarded over close to $900,000 in grants to support 92 digital projects.

Funding for digitization projects is distributed annually. For more information and to discuss potential projects and funding opportunities, please contact Anne Karle-Zenith, METRO’s Associate Director of Business Development, at [email protected]

Current Projects | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012

Current Projects

Carnegie Hall Corporation
Carnegie Hall Incorporated Collections
2017 Digitization Project Grant

Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary
Audio of JTS Lectures, 1947-1969
2017 Digitization Project Grant

New-York Historical Society
Burr McIntosh Photographic Prints, 1900-1910
2017 Digitization Project Grant

New York Public Radio
On The Media 1993-2000
2017 Digitization Project Grant

American Museum of Natural History Library
Biodiversity Heritage Library - Enhancing Access Project
2017 Digital Conversion MicroGrant

Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive of The Cooper Union
The Student Work Collection
2017 Digitization Project Grant

Leo Baeck Institute New York
Digitizing the Estate of the Art Historian Rachel Wischnitzer
2017 Digital Conversion MicroGrant

New York Academy of Medicine
William S. Ladd Collection of Prints
2017 Digital Conversion MicroGrant

Staten Island Museum History Center and Archives
Digitize Suffrage Periodicals
2017 Digital Conversion MicroGrant

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2016 Funded Projects

Agnes Meyerhof Bookplate
Institution: The Grolier Club
Collection: Maria Gerard Messenger Women’s Bookplate Collection
Description: Collection of over 2000 women’s bookplates and book labels assembled by Maria Gerard Messenger (1849-1937) of Great Neck, Long Island. The collection represents women book owners from the sixteenth century to the 1930s, and includes women from North America, England, France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Spain, among other locations. It includes both well-known collectors and those with little or no documentation in the historical record.
A Boy Playing the Trumpet in a Camp in Tehran
Institution: Pilsudski Institute of America
Collection: Photographs of Polish Soldiers and Civilians During WWII (1939-1945)
Description: Collection of over 1000 photographs of Polish Armed Forces in the West, including organized military formations, established in the autumn of 1939 outside of Poland, on the basis of inter-allied agreements signed with France and the United Kingdom. The Polish Armed Forces were commanded by the Commander-in-Chief General Władysław Sikorski and later on General Kazimierz Sosnkowski. This collection includes three major groups of photographs associated with three military formations: Polish Armed Forces in the United Kingdom (1940-1944), the formation of Anders’ Army in the East, and the life of soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade in Africa (1940-1942).
Students studying in colonnade
Institution: Bronx Community College
Collection: Hall of Fame for Great Americans Collection
Description: The Hall of Fame for Great Americans collection consists of 142 photographs and documents related to the selection, election, induction and media coverage of individuals represented in the Hall of Fame located at Bronx Community College (BCC). Honorees include authors, educators, architects, inventors, military leaders, judges, theologians, philanthropists, humanitarians, scientists, statesmen, artists, musicians, actors, and explorers. Dating from the 1920s to the 1970s, the collection includes memoranda and personal correspondence, office records, publicity materials, and photographs. Note: This collection was created as part of the Culture In Transit project, made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Catechismo, y breue exposicion de la doctrina Christiana
Institution: New-York Historical Society
Collection: Five Timicua Language Imprints, 1612-1635
Description: This digital collection includes five seventeenth-century Mexican imprints that are among the earliest known primary sources in the lost Timucua language of Spanish Florida and among the first works ever published in a native language of the Americas. They owe their survival to antiquarian and linguist Buckingham Smith (1810-1871), whose collection of manuscripts and books related to Native American cultures and languages was donated to the New-York Historical Society in the 1880s.
Fordham College Monthly Volume v.9 (1890-1891)
Institution: Fordham University Libraries
Collection: Selections from Special Collections
Description: This collection comprises 78 volumes from Fordham Library Special Collections, grouped into three broad categories. 1) Early Fordham publications: documenting the history of Fordham University and Catholic New York during the 19th and early 20th centuries, including three handwritten student publications. 2) Selections of manuscript collections: rare materials from the 14th-18th centuries, including two books of hours and handwritten Catholic sermons from New Spain (Mexico and California plus a 19th century Syriac bible ). 3) Shvidler Chair Judaica Collection: a selection of rare early printed titles in Hebrew and Yiddish, primarily from the 16th and 18th centuries.
1964 Annual Report
Institution: Hospital for Special Surgery, Kim Barrett Memorial Library
Collection: Annual Reports of the Hospital for Special Surgery
Description: Collection of 63 volumes of Annual Reports from the Hospital for Special Surgery, originally known as the Hospital for the Relief of the Ruptured and Crippled. The reports span the years from 1895-1979, chronicling the development of life-changing discoveries pertaining to musuloskeletal diagnosis, treatment and care against a backdrop of ongoing political and enconomic crises, including surgery to treat woulnded soldiers of WWII, establishemen tof American Hosipital in Britain, use of HSS as supplier of blood for WWII national defense programs, polio's impact and treatment.
1960 Annual Report of The Roosevelt Hospital
Institution: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Collection: Annual Reports of St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals
Description: This collection includes the Annual Reports for St. Luke's Hospital (1859-1976) and the Roosevelt Hospital (1871-1978). These two famous New York City medical institutions were both founded in the 19th century to serve the worthy poor in the City. Both grew to include education in their missions, training both young doctors in their residency programs, as well as nurses in three year diploma programs. Many scientific and clinical innovations occurred at these institutions, but their primary mission was and remains service. The Annual Reports detail the stories of the hospitals: their needs, their supporters, the people they served, and how they interacted with their communities in New York City. The Reports also show the advance of medicine, including information about how the hospitals responded to various epidemics and public health crises, from 19th century cholera to 20th century drug addiction.
AAMI Annual Dinner "Blueprint" Announcement 1915
Institution: General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen
Collection: Industry & Culture Collection
Description: Collection of 364 objects composed of selected archival materials and museum holdings from The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York (GSMT). Founded in 1785, The General Society initially served as a benevolent organization that provided mutual support to fellow craftsmen and artisans in need. This philosophy of practical philanthropy has been maintained for over 230 years in the form of the second-oldest library in New York (since 1820), an active program of lectures (since 1837), and a tuition-free evening trade school (since 1858). Since its inception, The Society has counted many prominent New Yorkers among its over 4000 members such as Andrew Carnegie, Peter Cooper and Abram S. Hewitt. The items presented in the Industry and Culture Collection document a wide variety of General Society activities including patriotic, civic, educational and literary pursuits. Note: This collection was created as part of the Culture In Transit Project, made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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2015 Funded Projects

Honorius Papa :
Institution: Fordham University
Collection: Political and religious pamphlets of the Italian unification, 1815-1871
Description: This collection of approximately 1600 short printed pamphlets was published in Italy, largely from 1815-1880, and markings on several of the items appear to link the collection with Cardinal Carlo Luigi Morichini (1805-1879) as a former owner. The pamphlets reflect the Catholic Church's outlook on and response to the sweeping changes occurring in 19th-century Italy, a period which witnessed the national unification of the Italian peninsula and the corresponding secularization of civil, political, and educational institutions.
Trends In The New York Clothing Industry
Institution: Baruch College CUNY
Collection: Institute of Public Administration Collection Printed Materials and Reports, 1907-1959
Description: A unique colleciton of reports from the Institute of Public Administration on the origins of reform government in the US. The organization was created and financed in the early twentieth centurey by wealthy reform-minded New Yorkers, including the Rockefeller, Carnegie and Harriman families, to promote honest, efficient government. The IPA (and its predecessor, the Bureau of Municipal Research) taught NY and municipalities worldwide the necessities of budgets, training for public servants, and investigative studies to expose waste and corruption. Reports are from the period 1920-1950 and cover the workings of municipalities and states around the country and the measures taken by municipal governments to improve their operations.
Carnegie Hall Booking Ledger, volume 17, page 86a
Institution: Carnegie Hall Archives
Collection: Carnegie Hall's Booking Ledger Collection
Description: Carnegie Hall booking ledgers that recorded every event that took place in the Hall’s three auditoriums and were used to schedule performances spanning 1955-2007. These ledgers include rare documentation of the great artists and managers of various music genres that have performed at the Hall over the past half-century, and also chronicle the wide range of non-musical events such as lectures, meetings, and civic rallies that have taken place.

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2014 Funded Projects

Bulletin of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, Volume I, Number 1
Institution: Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brooklyn Museum
Collection: Brooklyn Institute of Arts & Sciences Periodicals
Description: The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Bulletins Collection is comprised of promotional materials known as Bulletins, or Monthly Magazines of Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. These periodicals contain listings of upcoming performances, lectures, courses, special events and related articles. The first issue is from September 1908 and the series runs through June 1953.

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2012 Funded Projects

Cover of the Bauer collection of Antique Chinese Art Treasures
Institution: Frick Art Reference Library
Collection: Gilding the Gilded Age: Interior Decoration Tastes and Trends in New York City as Documented by a Collection of Auction Catalogs in Frick and Hearst Library Collections
Description: The Gilded Age, witnessed large and valuable private collections disposed of at auction. New York City played an important role in this burgeoning market. Auction catalogs from these sales provide a wealth of information about the world of collecting, provenance, artists, and artistic tastes during a time of burgeoning wealth. Materials from the Frick Art Reference Library and Archive and The William Randolph Hearst Archive, LIU Post comprise this collection documenting auctions of decorative arts during the Gilded Age. Spanning the period from 1876 to 1922, this collection documents the importance of auction catalogs and sales that played a pivotal role in the history of collecting in New York City. A majority of the auction catalogs in the collection were issued at auctions held by the American Art Association. 19,294 objects were digitized and 104 MARC records were created for the digital versions of the catalogs.

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Digital Services Advisory Council


To advise METRO on the development of digital services and digital initiatives planning in the region and on the use of RBDB funds for technology. To make recommendations for the allocation of resources toward existing and new digital services for METRO member libraries and librarians. To aid METRO in identifying emerging trends, technologies, services and policies with potential to affect the library/information world and share this information with members. To assist METRO in building relationships with regional and national organizations and individuals working to improve library services in digital environments.


Anthony Cocciolo (2015, member since 2014)
Assistant Professor
Pratt Institute


Sarah Gentile (2015-2016)
Digital Project Archivist
Brooklyn Academy of Music

Natalie Milbrodt (2014-2015)
Digital Content & Strategy Coordinator
Director, Queens Memory Project
Queens Library

Henry Raine (2015-2016)
Director of Library Digital and Technical Services
New York Historical Society

Madeleine Thompson (2015-2016)
Institutional Archivist and Digital Resources Manager
Wildlife Conservation Society

Kyle Triplett (2015-2016)
Librarian, Rare Book Division
New York Public Library

Nicholas Webb (2014-2016)
Assistant Archivist
Mount Sinai Medical Center


Anne Karle-Zenith
Digital Services Manager

Margo Padilla
Strategic Programs Manager

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