A new report from CLIR and the HBCU Library Alliance explores the common barriers and shared visions for creating access to archival collections held by libraries at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Chronicling nearly 300 years of the lived experiences and legacies of African Americans, these materials are vital to enriching our understanding of the achievements, influence, and global impact of African American people and communities. Many of these collections, however, remain inaccessible because of constraints in staffing, space, collections, equipment, and other resources.
Creating Access to HBCU Library Alliance Archives: Needs, Capacity, and Technical Planning is one of few reports that document the needs of HBCU libraries as they relate to archives and special collections. It is based on a series of online focus groups that author Sharon Ferguson Freeman facilitated with HBCU library directors and deans in 2021. The study provides insight into the significance of special and archival collections for HBCU libraries and their communities; the management and capacity of archives and special collections; and these libraries’ values, priorities, needs, and aspirations. The findings also reveal information related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HBCUs and broader topics of significance that were not anticipated when the project began.
The collections described in the report encompass materials relating to organizational affiliations with churches, African American history, the civil rights movement, and institutional histories. Images from these collections are featured throughout the report.
The desire for additional staff, adequate space, digitization of collections, and expansion of collections emerged as key priorities among the focus group participants. Participants also expressed the wish for an endowment to be used exclusively to support archives and special collections.
“The collections within HBCU libraries, the stories they uncover, the voices that must be amplified are more important now than ever before,” said HBCU executive director Sandra Phoenix. Our partnership with CLIR aims to foster awareness and access to diverse historical records that shaped American history, thus informing dialog to promote the common good. This work is a critical step to ensuring the preservation and accessibility of the authentic voice of African American history in the United States. It is imperative that history accurately reflects and acknowledges the innumerable contributions of generations of African Americans to the economic, social, and cultural development of our nation.”
The project grew out of a partnership formalized in 2019 between the HBCU Library Alliance and CLIR, and a 2020 Mellon Foundation grant for a study to inform a sustainable shared infrastructure for creating access to HBCU Library Alliance members’ archival collections.
“History is a dynamic inheritance, requiring diligent stewardship and rigorous assessment,” said CLIR president Charles Henry. “Our partnership with the HBCU Library Alliance and its archives seeks to assure that our national historical narrative is true, respectful, and multidimensional, to include voices that have been marginalized or suppressed, providing a more authentic understanding of our place and our selves.”
Creating Access to HBCU Library Alliance Archives: Needs, Capacity, and Technical Planning is available as a freely downloadable pdf at https://www.clir.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2022/04/Creating-Access-to-HBCU-Library-Alliance-Archives.pdf.
Thirty individuals have been selected to participate in the 2022 Leading Change Institute (LCI), to be held in Washington DC July 10–15. Jointly sponsored by CLIR and EDUCAUSE, LCI is designed for leaders in higher education, including CIOs, librarians, information technology professionals, and administrators, who want to work collaboratively to promote and initiate change on critical issues affecting the academy. These issues include new sources of competition, use of technology to support effective teaching and learning, distance learning, changing modes of scholarly communications, and the qualities necessary for leadership.
Participants will join deans Joanne Kossuth and Elliott Shore along with other thought leaders from the community in discussing approaches to these challenges, including ideas for collaboration, collective creativity, and innovation within and across departments, institutions, and local or regional boundaries; the conceptualization of blended positions and organizations; and the importance of community mentorship and advocacy.
This year, for the first time, a current CLIR staff member, Aliya Reich, will participate in the institute. Reich is CLIR’s program manager for conferences and events. “I am thrilled to represent CLIR at the 2022 Leading Change Institute,” she said. “LCI’s commitment to a collaborative, experimental approach to challenges in higher education and the GLAM sector is well aligned with CLIR’s priorities and my own work as our conference planner. I look forward to contributing my own experiences and learning from others at this year’s event.”
Nancy Abashian, Senior Director of Public Services and Office of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA), Binghamton University
Devin Becker, Head, Data and Digital Services & Director, Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning (CD?L), University of Idaho Library
Elizabeth Brown, Department Chair, Instruction Coordinator, Central Washington University
Kirsten Clark, Director, University of Minnesota Libraries
Leighana Coe, Support Services Manager, Linn-Benton Community College
Hilary Davis, Head, Collections & Research Strategy, NC State University Libraries
Kristen Dietiker, Chief Information Security Officer, Santa Clara University
Damecia Donahue, Librarian III/Strategic Foresight Librarian, Wayne State University
Uche Enwesi, Director, IT Systems Support and Facilities Management, Univ of Maryland
Emily Ferrier, Librarian, Economics, Entrepreneurship, STEM, Brown University
Joshua Finnell, Interim Associate University Librarian, Associate Professor in the Libraries, Colgate University
Shay Foley, Director of Metadata and Digital Strategies, Hamilton College
Travis Grandy, Associate Director, Learning Research & Technology, Smith College
Martha Horan, Head of Preservation Strategies, The University of Miami
Jennifer Hunter, Head of Firestone General Service Operations, Princeton University
Carrie Johnston, Digital Humanities Research Designer, Wake Forest University
Vickery Lebbin, Interim Associate University Librarian, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Ryan MacTaggart, Manager, Professional Learning, EDUCAUSE
Katie McCormick, Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives, Florida State University
Robert Morse, Senior Instructional Designer, Statewide Assessment, Ivy Tech Community College
Joy Novak, Head of Special Collections Management, Washington University in St. Louis
Kristi Park, Executive Director, Texas Digital Library
Leah Plocharczyk, Interim Director, Florida Atlantic University
Anguelina Popova, Associate Professor; Director, American University of Central Asia
Crystal Ramsay, Director (interim), Penn State
Gregory Reeve, Metadata and Identities Librarian, Brigham Young University
Aliya Reich, Program Manager for Conferences and Events, Council on Library and Information Resources
Philip Schreur, Associate University Librarian for Technical and Access Services, Stanford University
Jameson Watkins, Chief Information Officer, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
David Woodbury, Department Head, Learning Spaces & Services, NC State University Libraries
CLIR has awarded $570,595 to fund 20 Recordings at Risk projects. This ninth cohort of recipients will build on the work of the 127 previously funded projects, which have already digitally preserved nearly 38,000 at-risk audio and/or visual recordings.
Analog audiovisual materials are increasingly at risk because of their fragility, a lack of easily available 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 twentieth-century Native life in America, music history, labor and social justice activism, animal life, and the perspectives and creativity of people from California to Puerto Rico.
Cycle 9 awarded projects:
Organization: Blank FormsProject: The Cecil Taylor Preservation Project: Digitizing the Personal Recordings of Cecil Taylor, Pioneering Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Artist, and PoetAmount: $12,125
Organization: Boston City ArchivesProject: Preserving Boston’s Voices: Digitizing the Boston 200 Community Oral History CollectionAmount: $39,155
Organization: Boston CSJ ArchivesProject: Throw Open the Windows! Digitizing the Experiences of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston During the Era of Vatican IIAmount: $16,845
Organization: Boston Symphony Orchestra (The BSO)Project: Preserving a Conducting Legacy: John Williams with the Boston Pops (1979 – 1991)Amount: $14,025
Organization: Bowling Green State UniversityProject: Filk Collections at BGSU: Preserving 1980s Fan Culture and CommunityAmount: $16,675
Organization: Catawba NationProject: Digitizing Catawba VoicesAmount: $36,570
Organization: Georgia State University FoundationProject: Digitizing Southern Labor’s 20th and 21st Century Spoken WordAmount: $23,945
Organization: GLBT Historical SocietyProject: Preserving LGBTQ Voices: Digitizing Interviews Conducted by Mary Richards, Journalist for the Bay Area ReporterAmount: $17,642
Organization: Incubadora Microempresa Bieke, Inc.Project: Archivo Histórico de Vieques Digitization ProjectAmount: $50,000
Organization: Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS)Project: Guerilla Television Meets Broadcast Journalism – Preserving the Early History of Intermedia Arts MinnesotaAmount: $12,495
Organization: National GeographicProject: Crittercam Collection – Digitizing Animal Behavior Through Their Own Point of ViewAmount: $24,360
Organization: New York University (NYU)Project: Reframing 1970s-1980s NYC Through the Lens of Chinese Cable TV (CCTV): Preserving the Community-Produced Television ProgramAmount: $27,215
Organization: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T)Project: Digitizing the History of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, 1937 – 1979Amount: $47,570
Organization: Piedmont UniversityProject: Preserving Southern Progressive History: Digitizing Original Recordings of Social Justice Author and Activist Lillian E. Smith’s Laurel Falls Camp for Girls and Other Recordings ca. 1940s-1950sAmount: $26,278
Organization: San Francisco Jazz Organization (SFJAZZ)Project: SFJAZZ Historic Archive DigitizationAmount: $41,671
Organization: UC Santa Barbara LibraryProject: Preserving America’s Radio Heritage: The Recordings of Variety Show Pioneer Rudy ValléeAmount: $49,985
Organization: University of IdahoProject: Unheard Voices: Digitizing the Oral Histories of Underrepresented Communities in IdahoAmount: $17,321
Organization: University of Pittsburgh Library SystemProject: Preserving the Experiences of African Americans and Immigrants Racing to Pittsburgh’s Steel ValleyAmount: $36,826
Organization: University of TennesseeProject: A More Comprehensive Picture: Saving the Audiovisual Records of Congressional Anti-Corruption Efforts in the Papers of U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver and Ray JenkinsAmount: $49,200
Organization: Willard LibraryProject: Digitizing Oral Histories of Battle CreekAmount: $10,692
Visit the program’s Funded Projects page for more information about individual projects and about the independent review panel which makes all funding recommendations for this program.
Funded by the Mellon Foundation and administered by CLIR, the Recordings at Risk program supports the preservation of rare and unique audio and/or visual recordings 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. This was the last cycle of funding under the current iteration of the program, and at this time, CLIR has no information to share about future funding. Those interested are encouraged to sign up for CLIR’s Grants + Programs Newsletter for updates.
Two new resources are available from DLF working groups. The DLF Born-Digital Access Working Group’s (BDAWG) Visioning Access Systems (VAS) subgroup has released An Exploration of Ideal Access Systems. This framework on access systems for born-digital materials incorporates community input, and is intended to be a living document. Community members–particularly those who are actively using the framework in their professional work–are encouraged to provide feedback on, questions about, or comments regarding this document by using this Google form.
DLF’s Digital Library Pedagogy group has released the #DLFTeach Toolkit Volume 2. The toolkit aggregates lesson plans and pedagogical guidance for practitioners seeking disciplinary and interdisciplinary applications of 3D technologies (including Virtual and Augmented Reality) in classrooms, libraries, and other teaching contexts. Because the editorial team supports ethical use of these technologies, the Toolkit is based on a decolonial, anti-ableist, and feminist pedagogical framework for collaboratively developing and curating humanities content. Lesson plans are adaptable to a range of disciplines and address various stages of the 3D data life cycle and types of immersive media. The Toolkit aims to provide educators with the tools to navigate the complex process of adopting emerging 3D technologies while illustrating the possibilities for extending critical thinking using 3D/VR/AR.
Less than two weeks remain to submit your proposal for our conferences happening in Baltimore, Maryland, this October: the Digital Library Federation’s (DLF) Forum and Learn@DLF; NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2022: Preserving Legacy; and CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium.
For all events, we welcome submissions from members and nonmembers alike. Students, practitioners, and others from any related field are invited to submit for one conference or multiple (though, different proposals for each, please).
Events will take place on the following dates:
Learn more about our events and session options on the DLF Blog.
The deadline for all opportunities is Monday, April 25, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.
View the Calls for Proposals and submit:
If you have any questions, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to know more about our Covid-19 Health Protocols, click here. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Baltimore this fall. Want to stay updated on all things #DLFforum? Subscribe to our Forum newsletter or follow us at @CLIRDLF on Twitter.
The IIPC’s Archiving Conference (WAC) 2022, #WhyWebArchiving, will be hosted online by the Library of Congress and the IIPC. WAC will begin with a day of workshops on May 23, and continue with the conference from May 24-25. The event is free of charge, and registration will open soon. More information is available at https://netpreserve.org/ga2022/.
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