Illinois History Digital Imaging Grant Program Illinois State Library
The Illinois History-Digital Imaging grant program provides funding for eligible libraries to carry out projects involving the digitization and provision of web access to their important historical and cultural collections. Digital Imaging grants support the creation of digital collections while at the same time expand access to those collections via the Illinois Digital Archives.
The priority of the program is the digitization of original source materials relevant to Illinois history and culture including underrepresented populations.
Successful Grant projects will involve the production of both digital images and associated metadata in accordance with prescribed standards, and, depending on the format, could also involve the production of audio descriptions and/or transcriptions to enhance accessibility and comply with state and federal laws.
The Secretary of State/Illinois State Library funds Illinois History-Digital Imaging grants resulting in the following outcomes:
- Illinois citizens increased access to significant collections about Illinois' historical and cultural importance.
- Illinois citizens benefit from having unique historical and cultural digitized materials readily available and accessible online.
The grant program includes the following objectives:
- To create broader access to Illinois historical collections.
- To promote standards and best practices in image and metadata creation, and web delivery.
- To help institutions overcome the "Digital Divide" caused by lack of technical experience and personnel through outsourcing.
Academic, public, school and special library agencies are eligible to apply.
Library agencies must be recognized by the Illinois State Library as a full member in good standing of an Illinois library system.
No more than one application per agency will be accepted for consideration.
Range of Awards and Funding Source
- Requests between $5,000 and $100,000 will be considered.
- Projects will be awarded using state Technology funds.
- The Digital Imaging grant application is being offered in advance of the provision of the state budget. The Illinois State Library makes grant applications available so that award notification may be released when legislative and gubernatorial approval of the appropriation is made. Obligations to fund this grant program will cease immediately without penalty or further payment being required if the Illinois General Assembly or the federal funding source fails to appropriate or otherwise make available sufficient funds.
Application - due May 15, 2021
- Grant Application
- Email the application as an attachment to email@example.com
- Instructions for Completing Fillable Grant Forms
- Library Data Entry Guidelines
- For planning purposes, activities and disbursement of grant funds may begin July 1, 2021 and must end June 30, 2023. All grant funds must be obligated on June 30, 2023.
- Content created under this grant offering must be available through the Illinois Digital Archives. To utilize or reference images and metadata in other systems, libraries can use any of three methods: IIIF, OAI-PMH or CONTENTdm.
- Materials to be digitized:
- Materials proposed for digitization must be appropriate per the Illinois Digital Archives' Collection Development Policy.
- Applicants must adhere to the Illinois Digital Archives' Best Practices/Digital Imaging Guidelines.
- The first priority for funding will be original source materials, examples of which include:
- Material that is not published online or duplicated in other representations.
- Original source materials may include but are not limited to diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, photographic negatives, prints or movie film, electronic media, musical scores, drawings, maps, and glass slides. Digitization of reproductions is not allowed unless the originals no longer exist.
- Genealogical source materials of various types (excluding lineage charts) may be eligible for grant funding if they have historical value for researchers other than those from the immediate family.
- Newspapers and high school/college yearbooks are not eligible formats under this grant offering.
- The intent of this offering is to digitize, not create-original source materials. For example, the creation of recorded oral histories would not be appropriate under this offering.
- Items digitized Content created must be available freely to all via the web, without restriction or fee. A rights statement can be must be included in the metadata, for example: The images in the XYZ collections may be viewed, downloaded and printed for personal or educational use, but commercial use is prohibited without permission. Questions may be directed to the library at firstname.lastname@example.org or (phone).
- First time digital imaging grantees not planning to outsource their digitizing will be required to view OCLC CONTENTdm training online.
- Samples of metadata will be required from all grant recipients; however virtual metadata training will be offered for anyone new to metadata creation or interested in refreshing their skills.
The following expenditures for grant funding under this offering will be allowable:
- Outsourcing is strongly encouraged.
- Contracting for services with a vendor or other institution to outsource the scanning, indexing or the creation of metadata, transcripts or audio descriptions.
- Hiring personnel to scan, index or create metadata, transcripts or audio descriptions.
- Purchase of Purchasing equipment, supplies and software are is allowable only if the applicant demonstrates:
- The administrative capacity and expertise to digitize in-house; and
- The capacity to continue the use of these items beyond the end of the grant, including identifying staff dedicated to the task of regularly adding content to the Illinois Digital Archive.
The Illinois State Library will not approve the following uses for grant funds:
- Expenses incurred prior to the start of the contract.
- Meetings unrelated to project activities.
- Out-of-state travel.
- Cash donations or contributions.
- Promotional items, memorabilia, gifts and/or souvenirs such as magnets, t-shirts, water bottles or coffee mugs.
- Subscriptions, warranties, maintenance contracts or licensing fees that fall outside the timeframe of the grant project.
The Illinois History Digital Imaging grant program is competitive. Only complete applications from eligible library agencies will be considered for funding. Each application must stand on its own merit and is evaluated based on the information provided in the application and supplement PDF (Portable Document Format) forms.
Grants are awarded by the Secretary of State based on recommendations received from a grant review committee following its review process using a review rubric.
In addition to evaluation of the application content, meeting the criteria for library agencies eligible to apply, and the recommendations of the review committee, additional factors taken into consideration include:
- Availability of grant funds;
- The applicant's past grant performance; and
- Geographic distribution of the proposed grant awards.
Only the awarded grant applications shall be considered public information. Working papers, individual reviewer’s comments, notes, and scores are not public information. A summary of the review comments will be shared with the applicant.
Reporting Requirements for Awarded Projects
Grant recipients are expected to submit quarterly narrative, financial and final reports.
These reports capture quarterly activities, the disbursement of grant funds, and are due 15 days after the end of each quarter. The quarterly financial and narrative reports schedule is available via the following link to the Digital Imaging Grant Reporting Forms.
- Best Practices/Digital Imaging Guidelines Illinois Digital Archives
- Collection Development Policy Illinois Digital Archives
- Hosting Images with the Illinois Digital Archives FAQ