Five Libraries Awarded Ohio LSTA Metadata Mini-Grants
The State Library of Ohio awarded over $20,000 in Ohio LSTA Metadata Mini-Grants to enable five libraries to prepare their collections for the Ohio Digital Network (ODN) and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Libraries of all types, museums, and cultural heritage organizations were eligible to apply for a State Library Metadata Mini-Grant for up to $4,999 in federal LSTA funds. The awarded funds may be used to pay metadata contractors, vendors, or obtain other services (including digitization) needed to ensure their collections meet the ODN and DPLA metadata application profile guidelines.
The five institutions receiving Metadata Mini-Grants are Bowling Green State University, Lorain Public Library, Ohio University, the Ohio State University, and Wilmington College. They will work on their collections from October 2022 through June 2023, then the metadata for these collections will be added to DPLA as a part of the Ohio Digital Network.
“I’m proud that the Metadata Mini-Grant initiative continues to support Ohio’s libraries and cultural heritage institutions as they highlight interesting and educational digital collections to share beyond their local users,” expressed Evan T. Struble, Associate State Librarian for Library Development. “I can’t wait for these five new collections to make their way into DPLA, allowing for them to be more easily accessed by students, researchers, and history enthusiasts world-wide.”
As Ohio’s service hub for the DPLA, ODN is working to make digital collections from all ODN cultural heritage institutions more accessible to the world. DPLA serves as a portal to over 40 million cultural heritage items from libraries, museums, and archives across the country. Freely accessible to all, DPLA empowers people to learn, grow, and contribute to a diverse and better-functioning society by maximizing access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge. The Ohio LSTA Metadata Mini-Grants awarded will be used both for digitization and for metadata remediation, all for collections to be added to DPLA.
Bowling Green State University
The Dora E. Giffen papers: Dora E. Giffen, born to American missionaries in Egypt in 1897, returned to Egypt as a missionary from 1920-1926 under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church of North America. She corresponded regularly with family members, describing her work and daily life as well as activities occurring in a nation that was increasingly mobilizing under anti-colonial nationalists. Her correspondence provides a window into events within the country while it was formally occupied by the British and after the Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence.
Grace McClurg Carson papers: Lima native Grace McClurg Carson was assigned as a foreign missionary by the Methodist Church to Hinghwa, China, serving as teacher and supervisor of the girls’ boarding school from 1912-1926. She corresponded regularly with family members and supporters in a period immediately following the 1911 Revolution, when the nascent Republic of China was subject to fragmentation and competing provincial military leadership.
Visual images depicting rural and urban locations throughout Egypt and China, as well as missionaries and residents engaged in daily activities, complement the correspondence. It appears that little of this kind of content (personal correspondence, versus travelogues or reports) by individual missionaries has been digitized and made available online in the DPLA or in other repositories.
Lorain Public Library
The Lorain-Sandusky Tornado collection depicts the hard-working families and blue-collar workers who re-built homes and their community including the famous Broadway Avenue. The library chose this collection for the project as the centennial anniversary approaches to celebrate the restored community, vibrant downtown, and surrounding city.
The Toni Morrison collection is unique to the Lorain Public Library System with the author’s personal history rooted in Lorain. Her accomplishments are a great source of pride for the African American community and the broader Lorain community. Adding this collection would spotlight her influence in BIPOC communities across the Digital Public Library of America as well as Lorain County.
The International collection celebrates the history of the International Festival of Lorain. Lorain is home to immigrants from many different countries and nationalities who came to Lorain to work in the booming steel industry. The event celebrates the cultures across Lorain and began with the concept of combining the ethnic festivals into a unified event. The significance of the collections chosen is the representation of the values of the diverse community of Lorain County.
The Civil War Correspondence Collection represents many of Ohio University Libraries’ core manuscript collections. The collections were acquired purposefully and often by purchase beginning in 1965 and up to 2009. They document the effect of the Civil War on Ohio and Appalachian families, and include mostly correspondence, but also war documents including rosters, medical orders, as well as diaries, photographs, and a clippings scrapbook. The many letters in the collection document the war experience of many individuals through correspondence between families, soldiers and relatives, and medical professionals such as surgeons. We know political views and opinions are expressed in the letters, but they are not easily searchable. Finding the hidden or less obvious stories and representations within the letters is the Libraries’ next priority for making the letters more useful for current research interests.
The Ohio State University
As per the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “George Bellows (1882–1925) was regarded as one of America’s greatest artists when he died”. The catalog record provides additional context, “The record books and ledger of internationally renowned, Columbus born artist George Bellows (1882-1925). Bellows, acclaimed as among the greatest American artists of his generation, maintained meticulous records of his artistic production including sales and exhibition showings, as well as documentation of works that were destroyed. Moreover, Bellows augmented the record books with over 200 thumbnail sketches of his original art. These documents are a unique research resource for the study of the historical art market, and the taste and culture of early 20th-century America. They are both records of an artist’s life’s work and art pieces in and of themselves. The record books were continued by family and the Bellows Trust until 1997.” The proposed approach to this project is based on its research potential and the format of the items involved.
In 1962 and 1964, amidst the escalation of the Cold War and the accompanying intensification of nuclear testing, Ohioan Barbara Reynolds led two separate missions—the Hiroshima Peace Pilgrimage (HPP) and World Peace Study Mission (WPSM), respectively—of atomic bombing sufferers around the world to visit all nuclear-weapons-holding countries to advocate for nuclear abolition. Departing from Hiroshima, the missions traveled throughout the United States (including lengthy stays in SW Ohio) meeting with community members, educators, dignitaries, and political figures, before embarking to the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and the former Soviet Russia. Today, amidst the Russia-Ukraine War and at a time when the status of nuclear non-proliferation treaties and the ability and willingness of state actors to use nuclear weapons is increasingly in question, it is crucial to make visible the motivations and accomplishments of people like Reynolds, the atomic bombing survivor activists, and the global community members (including those in Ohio) who supported nuclear abolition and environmental justice as a source of actionable historical knowledge for the present. Given these two collections are digitized with item-level metadata, and given their current social and political relevance, they are a logical choice for the LSTA Metadata Mini-Grant.