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subject: hidden collections special collections cataloging hidden collections application CLIR Press Releases

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2009

Contact: Kathlin Smith
202-939-4754

Mellon Grants CLIR $4.3 Million for Year Two of Hidden Collections Program

Washington, D.C.—The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) $4,303,000 to support a second year of its Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.

The program was created in 2008, with Mellon funding, to identify and catalog special collections and archives of high scholarly value that are difficult or impossible to locate through finding aids. Award recipients create descriptive information for their hidden collections that will eventually be linked to and interoperable with all other projects funded by this grant.

In 2008, CLIR awarded a total of $4 million to 15 projects nationwide. It expects to award the same amount of funding to new projects this year.

"We are deeply grateful to the Mellon Foundation for continuing its support of the Hidden Collections Program," said CLIR President Charles Henry. "The program has, as we had hoped, touched upon an area of major national interest, and with this renewed funding we can assuredly build it into a model for cooperative efforts that transcend institutional type and geography, building new communities that work coherently in support of teaching and research."

"This program will uncover lost archives that will reveal new facets of America's past: from immigrant lives, to documents of frontier life, to economic records, to journals of slaves and freedmen, and much more," said CLIR Board Chairman Stephen Nichols. "The story of America's past will never end, but thanks to the Hidden Collections program it is about to become much richer," he added.

CLIR will issue a request for proposals by the end of April and will announce decisions in fall 2009. A standing review panel, formed in 2008, will evaluate proposals and select award recipients.

More information about the award program is available at http://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/index.html.

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good. Through publications, projects, and programs, CLIR works to maintain and improve access to information for generations to come. In partnership with other institutions, CLIR helps create services that expand the concept of "library" and supports the providers and preservers of information. Information about CLIR and its work is available at www.clir.org.

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