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CLIR Awards $552,905 for Recordings at Risk

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) today announced the award of nearly $553,000 to fund 17 Recordings at Risk projects. This eighth cohort of recipients will build on the work of the 110 previously funded projects, which have already digitally preserved more than 17,400 at-risk audio or visual recordings.

Analog audiovisual materials are increasingly at risk because of their fragility, lack of playing equipment, and environmental threats. The grant recipients will digitize a variety of formats using state-of-the-art technologies with the help of qualified digitization service providers. The recordings document unique voices from underrepresented communities from Alaska to Puerto Rico, examples of early distance learning, historical scientific discoveries in medicine and oceanography, and important music and artistic performances.

Cycle 8 Awarded Projects:

Organization: American Baptist Historical Society (ABHS)
Project: Cultural Revolution in Church and Society: A Racially and Ethnically Diverse Denomination Addresses Civil Rights, Race Relations, War, Conscientious Objection, Abortion, and Other Social Issues
Amount: $48,250

Organization: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL)
Project: CSHL Oral History Digitization: Preserving the History of Scientific Discoveries in Modern Biology
Amount: $25,940

Organization: Florida International University (FIU)
Project: Representing Minority Groups and Their Cultural Heritage through Access and Preservation of Unique Caribbean Musical Recordings (1905 to 1925)
Amount: $49,986

Organization: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP)
Project: Surveillance and Repression: Preservation and Access to Unlawfully Captured Police Recordings Targeting the Independentist Movement Organizations in Puerto Rico: 1961–1975
Amount: $42,568

Organization: Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) Library
Project: Disappearing Jewish Cultures and Traditions of the Non-Western World: Digitizing Film Footage and Audio Recordings from the Johanna L. Spector Papers and Audio-Visual Materials –Phase II
Amount: $48,850

Organization: Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC)
Project: Reviving Maryland Voices: Digitizing Stories and Experiences from the Old Line State
Amount: $10,438

Organization: Museum of New Mexico Foundation on behalf of the New Mexico History Museum
Project: Produced & Directed by John S. Candelario: Audio Recordings from Northern New Mexico
Amount: $15,119

Organization: Museum of Performance + Design
Project: Preserving a Decade of San Francisco Bay Area Performances: Digitizing ED-Betas by Ted Helminski
Amount: $47,795

Organization: Northwestern University Galter Health Sciences Library
Project: Medical Education on Film: Preserving the Medical Motion Pictures (1929–1959) of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Amount: $21,695

Organization: Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University
Project: An Electronic Music Studio in a Conservatory: Music From the Jean Eichelberger Ivey Papers, 1954–1996
Amount: $15,393

Organization: Rutgers University
Project: Preserving the Jazz Legacy of Bud Powell: The Francis Paudras Film Collection at the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University Libraries
Amount: $41,589

Organization: Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI)
Project: The Preserving and Providing Access to Contemporary Alaska Native History: Voices from Southeast Alaska Project
Amount: $23,607

Organization: University of Baltimore Foundation
Project: Preserving and Providing Access to Baltimore Television News Station (WMAR), 1980–1985
Amount: $49,225

Organization: University of Connecticut Library
Project: Preserving the History and Legacy of UConn’s Black Experience in the Arts Course
Amount: $12,035

Organization: University of Oklahoma Libraries, Western History Collections
Project: Pioneering a New Trend of Learning in Oklahoma: Preserving the School of the Air Radio Broadcasts from the University of Oklahoma
Amount: $17,925

Organization: Washington University in St. Louis
Project: Echoes of Voices Past: Preserving the Public Lectures from Washington University’s Assembly Series
Amount: $34,520

Organization: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
Project: Preserving Historical HOV Alvin Film for Science and Society
Amount: $47,970

Visit the program’s Funded Projects page for more information about individual projects.

CLIR is in the process of finalizing its next call for proposals for Recordings at Risk. As cultural organizations across the United States continue to struggle with the repercussions of a year filled with uncertainty and upheaval, CLIR remains committed to supporting this program and is sensitive to the need for accessible funding opportunities. Additional details on a future cycle will be posted to the program’s landing page in the next several months.

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by CLIR, the Recordings at Risk program supports the preservation of rare and unique audio and audiovisual content of high scholarly value. Since 2017, the program has awarded grants of between $10,000 and $50,000 to diverse organizations, providing necessary funds to save cultural memory that would otherwise be lost.

The Council on Library and Information Resources ( is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.

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