Writing grants can be a time-consuming process, one that isn’t for the faint of heart. Aside from adhering to a prescribed style of writing, there is research, data collection, and collaboration that all form critical parts of the grant-writing process. Then, of course, there is the unapologetic waiting period–often months go by–where a frenzy of activity results in the sound of crickets until word is received, either in the positive or negative.
Special Collections and Archives has been through this process a handful of times throughout the past number of years and has demonstrated great success when requesting funding assistance for departmental initiatives. It is encouraging when granting agencies have funds available to help SCA undertake projects it has already been planning, especially when the granting agency’s review committee agrees and funds them. We wish to share information with you about two such grants that were received and what these funds will be applied towards.
A recently received grant [early July 2014] from Arizona Humanities (formerly the Arizona Humanities Council) will enable SCA to provide and make available online transcriptions for a backlog of 20 oral histories recorded from 1999-2014 for the “Los Recuerdos del Barrio en Flagstaff” project. See an earlier blog post about the history of that project. Mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, transcription is a required component when providing access to these audio/video recordings in an online format. Once transcribed, these narratives will be keyword searchable and freely accessible by students, faculty, researchers, and the public.
Just this past week, SCA received word that it was successful with its December 2013 application to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the second part of a three-part project designed to plan for [and later implement] specialized cold storage for the fragile visual materials (photographs, negatives, moving images, magnetic media) that form a significant part of the rare and original archival collections housed in SCA. Funding from NEH’s Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant opportunity will bring in a team of specialized experts who will work collaboratively to plan for (a) storage environment(s) that will significantly deter the degradation of these irreplaceable items. This grant is building off SCA’s successful April 2012 application to NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grant program and subsequent consultant’s assessment report (April 2013). Successful outcomes of this upcoming two-year planning process will be a comprehensive plan and related schematics that will incorporate the collaborative team’s expertise. A subsequent third grant application to NEH would then be submitted to assist with implementation.
We look forward to sharing the results of both these projects with everybody in the coming months and years. Our continued thanks to Arizona Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities for providing us with the opportunity to enhance our program!