Our Digitization Grant Program helps our member libraries build and maintain digital collections.

We launched our Digitization Grant Program in January 2005 to support projects involving significant collections held by METRO member libraries in New York City and Westchester County. Since that time, we’ve awarded over $900,000 in grants to support 92 digital projects. Our grant program is supported in part by funds from the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases Program.

2024-2025 Grant Cycle

We’re very excited to announce the next cycle of METRO’s Digitization Grant Program! The call for applications began Monday, March 11th, 2024, and the application deadline was Friday, May 10th, 2024.

The deadline for this year's application cycle has passed. Please stay tuned for the announcement of this year's awardees in early July 2024.

If you have questions about your project or eligibility, please contact Traci Mark (tmark@metro.org) and Allison Sherrick (asherrick@metro.org) with info@metro.org copied by Friday May 3rd, 2024.

Mission Statement

METRO’s Digitization Project Grant is designed to meet the needs of METRO members working on projects at various stages of the digitization life cycle. Our aim is to create community capacity for digital collections while supporting our member institutions. By doing this, we endeavor to enable sustainable digital spacemaking, cultural heritage resource exchange, access to collections materials from a spectrum of diverse viewpoints, and research support for individuals seeking information and resources related to Metropolitan New York’s history and unique communities.

Program Description 

The primary purpose of this grant program is to support digitization projects for METRO members, in order to enhance the quality and accessibility of library and information resources in the metropolitan New York region. This program will enable METRO members to provide free and open access to materials in their collections that have not yet been digitized or are not currently publicly available. METRO members will also build institutional capacity, resulting in members being better positioned for future larger-scale digitization projects.

Each institution is eligible to receive  funding of up to $10,000 for their project.

The following should be considered when selecting collections to be funded through this project. We seek to provide support for:

  • Useful and accurate content
  • Rare and unique items
  • Materials that have a potential for enduring value in digital form
  • Materials that are beneficial to New York residents and community members

Funding will be limited to materials that will be made publicly available online. Institutions must have the rights needed to provide unrestricted public access to the digitized materials (free of any copyright or other IP/regional restrictions).

The following should be considered when selecting materials within collections. We seek to fund materials that:

  • highlight collections
  • best represent the community
  • are most requested by patrons
  • are difficult to access in physical form
  • are cataloged or collections that are processed
  • will be made publicly available online
  • will be provided with unrestricted public access (free of any copyright or other IP/regional restrictions)

Learn more about past grant recipients and their projects here.


Program Schedule

  • Monday, March 11th, 2024: Call for applications
  • Tuesday, April 16th, 2024:  Information Session
  • Friday, May 10th, 2024: Applications due
  • Week of July 1st, 2024: All grant applicants are notified of their status
  • Monday, August 5th, 2024: Grant period begins
  • September 2024 (Date TBD): First cohort meeting and progress update
  • December 2024 (Date TBD): Second cohort meeting and progress update
  • Friday, January  17th, 2025 by 5pm: First reimbursement period: progress report and invoice due to METRO
  • April 2025 (Date TBD): Third and final cohort meeting and progress update
  • Friday, May 30th, 2025 by 5pm: Program ends: second and final reimbursement packages due to METRO

Advisory Council Members

METRO staff will work with an Advisory Council in the selection of these grants. Our Advisory Council members are: 

  • Stefana Breitwieser, Digital Archivist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Courtney Griffin, MLIS Student, University of Washington iSchool
  • Kelly Haydon, Media Archivist at Human Rights Watch
  • Logan Heiman, Program Associate for the Higher Learning Program at the Mellon Foundation
  • Iris Lee, Cataloging and Metadata Librarian at The American Museum of Natural History
  • Alan Minor, Development Director of 7Cinema
  • Marcos Sueiro Bal, Archive Manager at New York Public Radio 
  • Alyssa Willis, Metadata Librarian at Hamilton College