—Model Proposals: Fray Angélico Chávez History Library (2011), Museum of the City of New York (2012), Kentucky Historical Society (2012), University of California Santa Barbara (2012), George Washington University (2013), Kansas City Public Library (2013), University of Washington (2013)
—Original proposal for the program, as submitted to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2008 (PDF)
—Advice for Grant Seekers in the Cultural Heritage Communities, questions and answers compiled for the ARCHIVES*RECORDS / DC 2010 conference, August 14, 2010
NOTE: The open application period for the 2014 cycle is now closed. Applications were due by 5:00 pm Eastern time on March 21, 2014. All applicants will be notified of their application's status by Friday, May 30, 2014.
- Minimum allowable request for 2014: $50,000 (not including cost share)
- Maximum allowable request for 2014: $500,000 (not including cost share)
- Minimum allowable project term: 12 months
- Maximum allowable project term: 36 months
- Projects must begin between January 1 and June 1, 2015
- Projects must be completed by May 31, 2018
The application process has two phases. The initial proposal round is open, and anyone interested in applying for a grant through this program must submit an initial proposal by March 21, 2014. The final proposal round is by invitation only. Only those applicants whose initial proposals have been approved by the program's review panel will be able to submit a final proposal.
Links to the application form, proposal outlines, and the program guidelines may be found in the "Important Documents" box on the right side of this page. For questions about the proposal process which are not answered in the guidelines or the Questions and Answers section below, please email us at email@example.com. We regret that we cannot answer questions by telephone.
- Thursday, February 6, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern time: CLIR hosted an informational webinar for prospective applicants. A recording of the session and slides from the presentation about the program are available.
- Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern time: CLIR hosted a Q & A webinar for prospective applicants. A recording of this session is now available.
- Friday, March 21, 2014, 5:00 pm Eastern time: deadline for submission of initial proposals.
- Friday, May 30, 2014: initial proposal feedback issued to applicants. CLIR will email comments to applicants on or before this date. Comments will be sent to the Principal Investigator(s) and/or primary contact listed in the initial proposal. At this time, the online application system will be re-opened to applicants whose initial proposals have been authorized to advance to the final round.
- Thursday, July 31, 2014, 5:00 pm Eastern time: Deadline for submission of final proposals
- December 31, 2014: Applicants will be notified of their application's final status.
If you would like to receive announcements and news about this program by e-mail, please join the Hidden Collection program's distribution list.
For questions which are not answered below or in the Application Guidelines, contact CLIR program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. During the application period, CLIR accepts inquiries by e-mail only; no phone calls, please.
What is the rationale for this grant program?
The program is designed to overcome the pervasive lack of awareness of special collections and archives held by libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions by making information about these materials accessible to teachers and scholars. Applicants are welcome to view the original grant proposal from CLIR to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
How do you define "special collections" and "archives"?
For the purposes of this program, special collections are any kind of rare or unique materials housed in secure, monitored environments and made available to researchers. Archives are unique, often unpublished materials associated with a specific individual, topic, or organization that is of interest to researchers. By not limiting these terms to particular subjects, media or formats, CLIR hopes to encourage proposals that encompass the broadest possible range of evidence of our historical, scientific, intellectual, and cultural heritage.
What do you mean by "hidden"? [See also: What if some finding aids already exist for a collection?, below]
Collections eligible for cataloging through this program should be truly hidden to scholars; in other words, scholars and graduate students who have a good command of their fields of study would not reasonably be expected to find basic information about the collections using good, thorough research techniques. Some nominated collections may have a type of documentation that is of no value to scholars, such as an accession record or machine-generated administrative metadata, but collections for which finding aids, catalog records, inventories, or other types of descriptions suitable for use by researchers have already been prepared are not eligible. This remains the case even if such descriptions are only available to researchers on-site in analog form.
Who is eligible to apply for funding under this program?
CLIR welcomes applications from any United States library, museum, archive or other cultural heritage institution that holds hidden collections of broad scholarly import and meets the program's general eligibility requirements:
The applicant institution* must be a not-for-profit organization as defined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Codes Section 501(c)(3) or a university or college exempt under Section 115, Section 170(c)(1), or a similar designation. Federally operated and for-profit institutions are not eligible for this program. If you have questions about your institution's status as an eligible non-profit, please contact CLIR at email@example.com.
The applicant institution* must be located in the United States or in an associated entity, e.g. the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or American Samoa (for a full list of eligible areas please consult the application guidelines).
Eligible applicant institutions may include, but are not limited to:
Associations or societies, including local historical societies and cultural associations.
Libraries and archives, including public libraries, college and university libraries, research libraries, and archives that are not an integral part of an institution of higher education and that make publicly available library services and materials that support scholarly research, and library consortia or parent organizations such as academic institutions that are responsible for the administration of the library.
Museums, including aquariums, arboretums and botanical gardens, art museums, youth museums, general museums, historic houses and sites, history museums, nature centers, natural history and anthropology museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, specialized museums, and zoological parks.
For additional detail, see the Application Guidelines, under Proof of Non-Profit Status.
*CLIR accepts proposals for collaborative projects that include partnerships between U.S. and Canadian institutions. Collaborators at Canadian institutions may serve as co-principal investigators, but the lead institution (i.e. the institution that will lead the work; that will manage the project, including assuming financial responsibility for any funds awarded; and that submits the application) must be a U.S. institution that meets the criteria listed above.
What are the criteria for awards? [See also: Questions CLIR asks reviewers (PDF)]
The main criterion for reviewers in determining proposals' relative priority is the value of their nominated collections for scholars and students. Scholars increasingly work in a digital environment and are interested in finding related collections held in multiple institutions. Consequently, collaborative proposals that aggregate disparately located but similarly themed collections may be more favorably weighed than those that do not feature such collaboration. Alternately, the review panel might suggest the aggregation of several proposals' candidate collections as a single project. In general, the panel grants preference to applications from institutions or consortia that agree to employ graduate students, paraprofessionals, and other entry-level, temporary staff that will contribute to a cost-effective and swift generation of records.
In 2014 the program expects to award about $4 million in grants that range from $50,000 to $500,000. Proposals will be evaluated and recipients selected by a review panel composed of scholars, information and cultural heritage professionals, and technologists. Decisions will be announced by December 31, 2014, and applicants may begin their projects anytime between January 1, 2015, and June 1, 2015. Projects must be completed by May 31, 2018.
To propose a competitive project, applicants should be prepared to address these key questions:
- What is the importance of the collection(s) to be cataloged and/or processed to the scholarly community? Does the proposal clearly demonstrate the value the materials will hold for a broad range of scholars once they are made accessible?
- How innovative and cost-effective is the proposed approach to the cataloging process in respect to local institutional practice and to current library/archival/curatorial best practice?
- What models have informed or inspired the project’s design, and why are these models well suited to the project’s aims? Or, alternatively, how will the project serve as a model for others?
- What will be the project's outcomes and how will these be made broadly accessible to scholars and other professional specialists?
- How well are scholars and other potential users, including students (graduate or undergraduate), represented in the proposed project? CLIR encourages even those applicants not directly affiliated with educational institutions to consider ways in which they might effectively incorporate outside scholars, researchers, or students into their projects.
- How hidden are the materials? Are similar materials available at other institutions? If so, what added value will the exposure of the proposed collections have to current understanding of a topic or topics? Duplicate materials that can be found by scholars at other institutions are not generally considered by the reviewers to be "hidden." If the materials are not available elsewhere, are potential users already aware of them? If so, has anyone actually used the materials? (NOTE: Acknowledging awareness and prior use of un-cataloged/unprocessed collections by scholars does not disqualify an applicant from funding.)
For further information about how reviewers evaluate Hidden Collections proposals, consult the list of Questions CLIR asks reviewers (PDF).
How will this program reveal hidden collections?
Award-winning projects will use appropriate technology and standards for recording accurate descriptive information about collections quickly and cost-effectively. The resulting records asnd finding aids should be compatible with existing online records for related materials, resulting in a growing body of standardized, web-accessible descriptions that can be built upon over time. Institutions must agree to make all data produced in the course of funded projects publicly and openly available long-term.
In addition, certain descriptive information from all applications submitted to this program will be included in the program's online registry (see also: Application Guidelines: Introduction). Current and future applicants should use this registry to locate institutions with unprocessed collections related to their holdings.
The shift to understanding hidden collections as a national problem requires an acknowledgment that in the 21st century, collaboration, coordination, and coherence of response to users is fundamental and takes precedence over local practice. Applicants should demonstrate how their proposed approach to description fits into this national picture.
Will a single technological platform be used?
No. Applicants will be expected to employ software platforms that already exist for swift and efficient entry of data, which can then be translated into standard records formats such as EAD, Dublin Core, PBCore, VRA Core, or MARC. Examples of such technologies include ArchivesSpace (or its predecessors Archon or Archivists' Toolkit), CollectionSpace, PastPerfect, or CollectiveAccess. Further information about the strengths and drawbacks of some applications in use in special collections and archives is available in Archival Management Software: A Report for the Council on Library and Information Resources (Lisa Spiro, 2009). See also the Archival Software wiki that grew out of that project for more up-to-date information.
Are there models that can be adopted for use in this program?
CLIR expects that this program will bring to light innovative and increasingly efficient methods of cataloging, archival processing, and dissemination of information about cultural heritage materials. Applications that propose sound yet truly ground-breaking innovations in practice generally receive preference in the review process, while those that propose adopting others' established best practices in ways that improve the efficiency of local methods and maximize access are also highly prized.
For examples of previous successful proposals to this program, see the list in the Important Documents box at the top of this page.
Aspects of other ongoing projects could be adopted to save time and expense. One early model for this program was the Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project developed by Jacqueline Goldsby and Jacqueline Stewart at the University of Chicago, in which graduate students catalog Chicago-area hidden collections. Because the students worked with a template of well-defined descriptive data fields, a high level of cataloging expertise is not necessary. The students were temporary salaried employees, and collaborated intensively with faculty and professionals throughout. Many past grant recipients have adopted and adapted this model of student engagement in processing.
Although past grant recipients and others have established many useful standards and best practices, CLIR leaves its definition of "innovation" deliberately open so that applicants may describe what it means in their own institutional and professional contexts.
Innovative practices may include but are not necessarily limited to:
- those that make records compatible with multi-institutional federated search systems;
- those that improve the cost and speed at which records are generated;
- those that employ automated methods for generating descriptions (as in the case of indexing born digital materials);
- those that efficiently address the complexities of multi-format analog or mixed analog/digital collections; or
- those that forge new connections between collections and potential users.
What will be the term of a project grant?
Applicants may request terms as short as 12 months or as long as 36 months, or any period in between. For the 2014 application cycle, projects may begin as early as January 1, 2015 or as late as June 1, 2015. All projects must be completed no later than May 31, 2018. Each principal investigator receiving a grant will be required to submit annual narrative and financial reports.
What will be the typical size of a project grant?
The sizes of the grants will vary. In 2014, applicants are required to request funds in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 (not including cost share). Requests which fall outside this range will not be considered.
What if some finding aids already exist for the collection?
The collections that will be candidates for cataloging should be truly hidden to scholars; in other words, scholars and graduate students who have a good command of their fields of study would not reasonably be expected to find basic information about the collections using thorough research techniques. The simple conversion of existing analog records or finding aids into their equivalent digital form does not fall within the scope of this program.
The fact that existing records are not digital and/or web-accessible does not mean they are considered "hidden" by the standards of this program. For these reasons, applications requesting support for straightforward retrospective conversion activities will not be considered eligible for review.
Some nominated collections may have a type of record that is of no value to scholars (such as an accession record or machine-generated administrative metadata for a digital collection). If a proposal includes cost-effective reconstitution and enhancement of existing records into standardized form, this may be acceptable provided the enhancement is very significant and the reconstitution of records is a very minor part of the project.
Some applicants may wish to include partially processed collections in a proposal. The program's primary purpose is to fund description of important collections that have not yet been cataloged or processed, so applicants should be aware that including partially processed collections in their proposal can have a detrimental impact. CLIR generally encourages applicants to exclude such collections from a proposal but recognizes there may be valid reasons for including them (e.g. the temporary availability of certain kinds of subject expertise, or the inclusion of more institutions in a coherent consortial effort). The review panel will consider several issues when evaluating proposals that include partially processed collections: the applicant's reasoning behind the selection of those collections, the proportion of the collections in the overall project, the amount of work remaining, and how closely the unprocessed portion relates to the overall theme of the project. In any case, applicants should make clear that grant funds are to be used for processing currently unprocessed materials and not for revising past work.
What formats will be considered?
The range of media that can be termed special collections or archives is not restricted. Increasingly, valuable collections are composed of many formats, from paper, moving images on film or video, all types of sound recordings, ephemera, specimens, electronic files or data sets, works of art, to myriad types of artifacts. CLIR is particularly interested in proposals from applicants with sound, sustainable plans for processing mixed analog/digital and born-digital collections.
Will conservation be an element of grant consideration?
Yes. Given the program's priorities, reviewers will be reluctant to fund the processing of materials requiring extensive conservation treatment before they could be made available, unless the applicant is able to fund this work through other means.
The focus of this program is not conservation, and no funds will be allocated for conservation purposes.
Are collections of genealogical materials eligible?
Collections that are primarily genealogical in nature are not eligible for funding through this program. However, CLIR does recognize the importance of collections that are local or regional in nature but may be reflective of larger historical and cultural issues. Applicants may seek funding for such collections, but must show how use of the collections will advance scholarship beyond the region in which they are located.
What costs may be requested in the budget?
Applicants may request funds for:
- Salaries/wages and applicable fringe benefits for new staff members who will be specifically dedicated to the project. (Please note that requests for funds to support existing staff members must be strongly justified - see below - and are rarely funded.)
- Consultant and/or training fees related to the project.
- Consumable supplies and materials for the project, including expendable equipment and dedicated software.
- Other services (e.g. equipment rental, server time, backup charges) related to project objectives.
Requests for the following are discouraged. If requested, they must be specifically and strongly justified in the proposal:
- Salaries/wages and applicable fringe benefits for current, permanent staff who will work on the project. This program is not intended to provide salary relief for existing staff at institutions. Proposals that request funding for current, permanent staff positions are almost never approved, and CLIR strongly recommends applicants include such costs as part of their cost share instead. If applicants request funds for current staff salaries, they must explain why grant funds are needed and how the staff member's normal duties will be covered during the time for which grant funds are requested. If the current staff member is not a permanent employee but is supported through other grant funds (soft funds) that will end before this project's proposed start date, be sure to explain that here and/or in the Budget Narrative. This will enable the program's Review Panel to assess such requests accordingly.
- Tuition remission for student employees.
- Hardware and peripheral costs such as computers, laptops, servers, etc.
- Archival supplies for materials, such as folders or boxes.
- Travel funds (travel for which support is requested must be justified as essential to carry out the proposed project).
- Conference registration and related travel. Applicants should explain how attendance at a given conference is related to scholarly outreach and should be planning to attend as presenters rather than attendees. In no instance should a proposal request funding for conference attendance that exceeds $5,000.
- Translation, transcription, or format migration services. The panel considers these services to fall outside the scope of the program. Requests to fund digitization of materials are not allowable in any circumstance.
Requests for the following are not allowed. Proposals including a request for funds for these items may be rejected as ineligible for review:
- Indirect costs.
- Indirect costs listed as direct costs. This includes items such as network charges, telephone, photocopying, etc.
- Retrospective conversion. The simple transformation of existing analog records or finding aids into their equivalent digital form is beyond the scope of the program.
- Any equipment or activities related to the digitization of materials. This includes digitization activities that may be generally thought of as necessary to the cataloging process, e.g. conversion of audio files from tape to digital format during the cataloging process, digital photography, etc. Costs of any digitization associated with a project must be covered by the applicant institution(s). While applicants are encouraged to include information about their plans to digitize collections in their proposals for the benefit of reviewers, they must not include digitization-related costs anywhere in the proposal budget (even as a shared cost). Funds will not be granted for these purposes in any circumstance.
- Membership fees (consortial, professional organizations, etc.).
- General-purpose items that may reasonably be expected to have a useful life after the project, such as office furniture, shelving, or archival cabinets.
What kinds of information must applicants include in the budget narrative?
The Budget Narrative must describe and justify the cost assumptions for each category and line item in the Budget Detail. The Narrative should include the following sections, as applicable to your project:
- Line items: Explain the need for each budget line and the method(s) used to compute the projected costs.
- Cataloging costs: Explain how you have arrived at your cost estimates for cataloging, including a description and justification for the calculation(s) used.
- Vendors: If software or equipment is being purchased or work is being outsourced, describe the vendors being considered.
- Grant management: Briefly explain how the grantee institution would manage the grant funds if awarded.
Private foundations: Applicants whose organizations are private foundations must include a section in the budget narrative addressing their institutional need for external funding support through this program. The rationale should identify the major funding sources of the organization and state the reasons the activities described in the proposal cannot be supported from these sources.
Applicants are strongly advised to give particular attention to the preparation of their budget narrative. For example, the budget narrative is a good place to address issues related to cost share; if an institution restricts an applicant's ability to indicate cost-sharing in the budget, the applicant should explain those restrictions.
Applicants must give explicit justification in the budget narrative for any costs falling into the "discouraged" categories listed in the guidelines (see What costs may be requested in the budget?, above), indicating the reasons why such costs cannot be covered in the normal operating budget of the recipient institution(s). Applicants may also use the budget narrative to give additional details about ways project expertise and outcomes will be sustained beyond the life of the grant, if it has not been possible to provide these details elsewhere in the proposal.
Applicants whose organizations are private foundations must provide an additional section in the budget narrative addressing their institutional need for external funding support through this program. The rationale should identify the major funding sources of the organization and state the reasons the activities described in the proposal cannot be supported from these sources.
There is no page limit for the budget narrative.
Are applicants required to show a cost share?
Cost sharing is strongly encouraged, but not required. Applicants are advised that reviewers will consider cost sharing as one indicator of institutional support when evaluating the proposal. If your institution prohibits including a cost share in a proposal, applicants should specifically note this in their Budget Narratives.
What items may applicants include in their cost share?
All items included as cost share must be directly related to the project being proposed. CLIR encourages applicants to think broadly about what activities or items they might include in their cost share. In some cases items for which CLIR will not grant funding may be included as part of the applicant's cost share. Cost share items may include indirect costs, or salaries of full-time staff who will contribute significantly to the project. However, equipment or activities related to digitization may not be included as part of the applicant's cost share.
May an institution submit more than one proposal?
Institutions may submit more than one proposal, but each proposal must have a unique principal investigator. A principal investigator may not be listed on more than one proposal in a review cycle, even as a co-principal investigator.
May consortia or multiple partnering institutions, as well as single institutions, apply for a grant?
Yes. CLIR encourages applications from consortia, or partnerships of two or more collaborating institutions, now including U.S.-Canadian partnerships (see also: Is the program limited to collections in the United States?, below). The submitted budget should aggregate the total funds requested; all funds will be disbursed to the applicant institution. CLIR will not disburse funds for one award to several institutions. One applicant institution or organization must serve as the administrator.
Any division of funds and responsibilities should be addressed in the project plan and other explanatory sections of the proposal. Applicants submitting a joint or consortial project must include the project plan appendix in their final proposals.
Applicants should also clearly explain how the collaboration or partnership advances the missions and meets the priorities of the partner organizations or institutions and how it enhances the capacity of each partner to support the creation of new knowledge. Collaborating partners should identify any benefits of the project that would not be possible if the partners worked individually.
CLIR also encourages applicants to consider working together on a less formal basis, even though they are submitting separate proposals. Applicants may note in their proposals that they are interested in collaborating with other applicants holding similar collections or engaging in similar activities. The review panel will consider the potential benefits of these informal partnerships when recommending proposals for funding.
Is the program limited to collections in the United States?
CLIR welcomes proposals for collaborative projects that involve both U.S. and Canadian institutions. Collaborators at Canadian institutions may serve as co-principal investigators with U.S. applicants.
However, the lead institution (i.e. the institution that submits the application and will manage a project) must be a U.S. institution that meets the eligibility criteria listed above. At this time only U.S. and Canadian supporting partners are eligible for the program.
In U.S.-Canadian joint projects, the U.S.-based applicant institution must contribute substantive work of its own, and assume full responsibility for the management of all grant funds. The proposal should make clear that the U.S. institution is a fully engaged partner in and leader on the project, and is not merely a fiscal agent for the Canadian institution(s).
Will all information contained in the proposals remain confidential?
One section of the application will ask for information that will become public, as part of the . A second section will remain confidential to the review panel. Contact information for Principal Investigators will only be shared with others with their express permission and for the purposes of facilitating collaboration among applicant institutions.
For a step-by-step guide, please consult the application guidelines.
Why does CLIR have a two-phase proposal process?
The decision to require initial proposals prior to accepting final proposals was taken in response to feedback from both applicants and reviewers. The purpose of the initial proposal is, first, to allow applicants to receive feedback on the suitability of their proposed project for the program prior to expending the extra effort required to prepare a final proposal; and second, to give reviewers a way to assist applicants in improving the quality of their proposals.
If our institution does not submit an initial proposal, will it still be possible for us to submit a final proposal by the final deadline?
If our institution submits a initial proposal that is deemed not sufficiently competitive by reviewers, will it still be possible to submit a final proposal?
No. Applicants submitting initial proposals that do not adhere to the stated requirements of the program, or that in reviewers' collective judgment require significant revision in order to be competitive, may not advance to the final proposal round.
Are applicants required to complete all sections of the initial proposal application?
Yes, all sections are required. Because of the great variety of collections and institutions who participate in the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program, certain questions will be more relevant to some applicants than they are to others. If a question does not pertain to the proposed project, a response of "N/A" is sufficient. Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review.
How specific must applicants be in giving details of their proposed project's budget in the initial proposal?
Applicants should give their best possible estimate of costs. The initial budget is an important factor as the reviewers decide which applications will advance to the final proposal phase. If available, evidence supporting budget figures should be included in the budget narrative. When institutional policies or practices make it difficult for applicants to include cost share figures in a grant budget, even if they will be making a significant investment in the proposed project, this may also be explained in the budget narrative. A brief explanation of how the recipient institution will manage the grant funds must also be included in this section. (See also: What kinds of information must applicants include in the budget narrative?, under "General Questions about the program", above.)
Costs presented in final proposals should be reasonably close to those indicated in the initial proposals, although reviewers recognize that there may be some variation as applicants continue to refine their projects and seek to respond to feedback.
How will I know my initial proposal has been successfully submitted?
The application system will send an automatic e-mail message confirming that your application has been successfully submitted to the e-mail address used to log into the application. The message is generated immediately upon submission of the application; however, because this e-mail is automatically generated, please be advised it may be quarantined by your institution's spam filter.
Applicants can also log into the application system and print copies of their saved content at any time prior to the application submission deadline. Once an initial proposal application has been successfully submitted, the applicant will no longer be able to edit it. This indicates the application is ready for review.
How do the questions asked in the initial proposal compare with those in the final proposal?
Most elements of the initial proposal and the final proposal are the same. In the final proposal phase applicants will be asked to submit additional supporting information, such as a cover sheet, an expanded technical plan and several letters of support. Applicants will be able to revise information submitted in their initial proposal during the final proposal phase. Please see "Questions about final proposals" for further information.
For a step-by-step guide, please consult the application guidelines.
How will applicants prepare final proposals?
Applicants approved to advance to the final proposal round will be notified by e-mail and will receive access to the final proposal elements of the application system by May 30, 2014.
May I receive a copy of my submitted proposal?
Applicants may log into the online application system to print out a PDF version of their application at any time prior to or following submission. Please note that this printout will include only text answers and will not include any files you have uploaded to your application, although the filenames for those documents will be shown.
What additional materials will be requested in the final proposal round?
Applicants are advised that for the final proposal, they will be asked to provide the following in addition to the information requested in the initial proposal:
Cover sheet: Applicants will be required to complete and include a cover sheet with their final proposal.
Technical Approach Summary: A document that details the relevant technologies, standards, and working practices that will be employed to realize the project's goals. The approach must be web accessible, interoperable with other systems, and sustainable beyond the life of the project. Applicants should explain how the proposed methods and tools relate to current local practice and emphasize any innovative features of the approach (for example, ways that it expedites cataloging or allows for extensibility in future activities). Document guidelines for the technical plan: maximum 3 pages; text must be in Times New Roman font, 12pt size, single-spaced and aligned left, minimum margins 1 inch. Applicants may include tables, images, etc. at their discretion, but may not exceed the 3 page limit.
Letters of support from scholars: Three letters of scholarly support for the projects. These letters must come from individuals knowledgeable about the collections or some other aspect of the project, but may not come from those who are directly affiliated with the project. It is strongly recommended that applicants obtain these letters of support from scholars outside their home institution, as reviewers generally look more favorably upon external letters as representative of the materials' value to the wider scholarly community. For the same reason, applicants are also advised to include at least one letter from a scholar outside their local region.
Institutional letter of support: One letter of support from the head administrator of the applicant institution. This letter should express the institution's support for the proposed project and explain how it advances the institution's mission, and must explicitly acknowledge that any grant funds awarded will not used for infrastructure or overhead costs.
May applicants revise answers submitted in the initial proposal during the final proposal phase?
Yes, with one exception. The collection(s) targeted for cataloging in the initial proposal should not be changed unless the revision is in direct response to reviewer feedback. Final proposals which list collections not included in the initial proposal phase may be considered ineligible for review. All other answers may, and should, be revised in the final proposal in response to reviewers' feedback. Applicants should bear in mind that reviewers will have access to initial proposals and feedback during the final phase, and may raise questions about details that vary significantly from initial proposal to final proposal without explicit justification.
May budget figures be revised?
Costs presented in final proposals should be reasonably close to those indicated in the initial proposals, although reviewers recognize that there may be some variation as applicants continue to refine their projects and seek to respond to feedback.
May consortia or multiple partnering institutions submit more than a total of three résumés with their application?
No. All applications may only include three two-page résumés. Applicants may describe the qualifications and expertise of other relevant staff in other sections of the application. Partnering applicants may also describe how access to others' expertise is one of the specific benefits of their collaboration under "Institutional Capacity."
May consortia or multiple partnering institutions submit more than a total of three letters of recommendation with their application?
No. Applications submitted by consortia or multiple partnering institutions are limited to three letters of recommendation that speak to the scholarly value of the collective submission as well as the importance of individual collections that make up elements of the submission.
How will I know my final proposal has been successfully submitted?
The application system will send an automatic e-mail message confirming that your application has been successfully submitted to the e-mail address associated with the account on file. The message is generated immediately upon submission of the application; however, because this e-mail is automatically generated, please be advised it may be quarantined by your institution's spam filter.
Applicants can also log into the application system and print copies of their saved content at any time prior to the application submission deadline. Once a final proposal application has been successfully submitted, the applicant will no longer be able to edit it. This indicates the application is ready for review.
For additional information contact CLIR at firstname.lastname@example.org. During the application period, CLIR accepts inquiries by e-mail only —no phone calls, please.