Applicant Resources

The Digitizing Hidden Collections 2018 application is now closed. Notifications from the initial round were issued via email to applicants on July 16, 2018; final-round notification will be sent by December 21, 2018. The 2019 cycle will open in mid-January with an initial application deadline in early April 2019. For questions about the program, e-mail

Instructions for application form. Explains questions and provides context.

Use this form to submit your application to the Digitizing Hidden Collections Program.

Answers to commonly asked questions.

Proposal Planning Resources

General Resources

  • Google Docs Template: Applicants may use this template to assist with collaborative writing on draft proposals. If you are working with the Google Docs template, you will need to copy your final answer from each question into the official application form and submit your completed proposal by the deadline in order to be considered for a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.
  • Applicant Webinars: CLIR scheduled three webinars in 2018 to orient applicants of the Digitizing Hidden Collections program and answer questions. Space is available in the webinars on a first come, first served basis and no registration is required. The webinar schedule and any available links to recordings are below.
  • Digitizing Special Formats wiki: This is a list of external resources to help applicants plan projects involving the digitization of rare and unique materials. Content is curated by the Digital Library Federation (DLF).

Applicant Toolkit Videos

Working with former recipients and reviewers, the Digital Library Federation (DLF) has created short videos highlighting issues that have been challenging to past applicants. For more information about the topics introduced here, see the DLF Digitizing Special Formats wiki.

Sample Proposals

  • Photographic Collections of the Erie Canal – Erie Canal Museum and the Canal Society of New York State (2015)
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez Online Archive – University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center (2015)
  • Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts in PACSCL Libraries – Lehigh University, Linderman Library; Free Library of Philadelphia; University of Pennsylvania Libraries; Bryn Mawr College; College of Physicians of Philadelphia; Haverford College; Library Company of Philadelphia; Rosenbach Museum and Library; Swarthmore College; Temple University; University of Delaware; Chemical Heritage Foundation; Franklin & Marshall College; Villanova University; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015)
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library Field Notes Project – Smithsonian Institution; Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library; American Museum of Natural History; Yale Peabody Museum; Harvard University, Herbaria Botany Libraries; Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library; University of California, Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology; New York Botanical Garden, LuEsther T. Mertz Library; The Field Museum; Internet Archive

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions that are not answered below or in the application guidelines, contact CLIR program staff at During the application period, CLIR accepts inquiries by e-mail only; no phone calls, please.

General Questions

Questions About Proposals

Questions About Core Values

Guidance and Criteria for Selection

Eligibility for Collaborative Projects