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:

  1. Illinois citizens increased access to significant collections about Illinois' historical and cultural importance.
  2. Illinois citizens benefit from having unique historical and cultural digitized materials readily available and accessible online.

The grant program includes the following objectives:

  1. To create broader access to Illinois historical collections.
  2. To promote standards and best practices in image and metadata creation, and web delivery.
  3. 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

Application - due May 15, 2021

Program Guidelines

Allowable/Unallowable Costs

The following expenditures for grant funding under this offering will be allowable:

The Illinois State Library will not approve the following uses for grant funds:

Review Process

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:

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.

Legal Authority

Supporting Resources


For more information on the Illinois History-Digital Imaging grant program, please email or call 217-558-2064. You may also email or call 312-814-4386.