Grant Opportunity: Amplifying DIgitized Special Collections

Amplifying Digitized Special Collections

Everything related to your digital special collections except digitizing or hosting (which are services Digital Commonwealth can provide), such as curating, organizing, migrating, or promoting your Digital Local History.

Books on shelves.Grant Amount:

Up to $20,000

Time Range:

1 year



Staff Contact:

Lyndsay Forbes

Program Description

Digitization of local history and community memory collections can inform—and transform—knowledge and behaviors of current and future generations. However, as libraries and cultural institutions have learned over time, online access to special collections, while vital, is the starting point, not the ending point, of digital collections strategies.

This grant is intended to support libraries with a wide variety of potential activities that foster community engagement with their digital special collections.

Just as exhibitions in museums require curation and promotion, online collections best achieve their transformative potential when leveraged as a part of wider online and in-person programming, curation, outreach, and creative partnerships.

It does not fund digitization or hosting, which are services already offered by Digital Commonwealth (DC). For this grant, and generally, libraries are strongly encouraged to include DC/BPL in their planning and strategies for growing their digital collections.

Appropriate activities can vary, and may often include combinations of the following:

  • Pre-digitization requirements: item-level inventory, metadata creation, other preparatory work
  • Logistics of data migration: preparing and updating metadata or files in preparation of “moving” digital collections
  • Curation of digital collections: interpreting your digital collections with blog content, micro-sites, or publishing platforms
  • Partnerships, Outreach, & Community engagement: editing Wikipedia with DC images, partnerships with community groups and archives, online and in-person events, etc.


Digital Commonwealth (DC) is a State-funded program administered by the Boston Public Library (BPL) that can be a full-service digital partner for your community history collections. For background on their services, DC/BPL provides libraries, at no cost:

  • Digitization of a wide variety of formats: books, prints, maps, photographs, objects, audio, video
  • Stable long-term hosting of digitized content
  • Robust, evolving infrastructure for search and discovery
  • A landing page for each cultural institution.

For More Information

Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development
617-725-1860 x237
857-488-6590 (Mobile)

Amy Clayton, Administrative Coordinator
617-725-1860 x228
857-488-6408 (Mobile)