collage of images from Ohio University Libraries digital collection, DPLA, and ODN

Metadata Mini-Grant

In conjunction with the Ohio Digital Network the LSTA Metadata Mini-Grant enables libraries to digitize and create new collections for the Digital Public Library of America

Applications are due July 14, 2023.

Libraries may use the awarded funds to pay metadata contractors, vendors, or obtain other services (including digitization) needed to ensure the collection meets the ODN and DPLA Metadata Application Profile guidelines. 80% of funds will be processed at the beginning of the grant term, with the remaining 20% to be processed upon approved metadata remediation. Please refer to the Grant FAQs for information on how to use the funds and see the Ohio Digital Network Website for metadata requirements for inclusion in DPLA.

All Ohio libraries, archives, or other cultural heritage institutions including current contributors to Ohio Digital Network are encouraged to apply for this grant.

Questions you don’t see answers for here? View recording of informational webinar held on Thursday May 25, 2023, 11:00 am.

Want to see how one library utilized a LSTA Metadata Mini-Grant? View recording of Finding the Un(der)represented in Civil War Letters at Ohio University—a presentation by Greta Suiter and Camilla Stegal at the Society of Ohio Archivist Annual Meeting on May 11, 2023.

The banner image features an item in the Ohio University Libraries Digital Archival Collections.

Who can apply?

  • Any public library, academic library, or special (archive, museum, other cultural heritage institution) library located in Ohio.
  • Institutions must be prepared to have a digital collection(s) with 250 or more metadata records ready for harvest by the metadata review period deadline, March 29, 2024.

Can I save this application and finish it later?

  • Applications must be completed in ONE sitting.

How can I spend the funds?

  • Funds MAY be used to pay for costs associated with digitization, or metadata remediation for a digital collection.
    • Applicants are expected to include an estimate of hours required to complete project, as well as an anticipated hourly rate for remediator (or anticipated pay range)
  • Funds MAY be used to pay for a contractor, vendor, or service to complete this digitization, metadata remediation, or other necessary tasks to prepare the digital collection for ingest to DPLA through ODN.
  • Funds MAY NOT be used towards equipment purchase (including scanners, computers, etc.), or subscription hosted platforms to store the metadata (including CONTENTDM, Bepress, Islandora, or other similar platforms).

How will these funds be disbursed?

  • 80% of awarded grant funds will be processed when signed contract and ODN Contributor Agreement are received by the State Library of Ohio at the beginning of the grant term, and the remaining 20% will be processed when metadata remediation is finalized and approved for ingest to DPLA.

What is the Digital Public Library of America, and how do they share a library’s digital collections?

  • DPLA is a portal for digitized cultural heritage material, collected from across the country, that is free for anyone online to access and use – no library card required! DPLA shares access to items both in and out of copyright, and works with educators to curate Primary Source Sets and digital Exhibitions covering a wide range of U.S history. You can read more about their Strategic Plan on their site.
  • There is no charge or subscription fee for your organization to contribute collections to DPLA, and DPLA does not take ownership or rights over your materials. The metadata from your DPLA-compatible collection platform is shared with DPLA through the Ohio Digital Network, and users on the DPLA site are linked back to your collections for larger images and more information, much like a search engine or discovery layer sends a patron to a specific resource.

What collections are eligible to be included in the Ohio Digital Network?

  • All collections must be able to be harvested through OAI-PMH harvesting protocols. Many popular Digital Asset Management Systems (e.g. CONTENTdm, Bepress), are equipped with OAI harvesting.
  • DPLA shares digitized content such as images, audio and video files, images of 3D objects, text documents, and much more. In fact, it’s easier to list what they don’t: paywalled or subscription content, serials such as daily popular newspapers, and scholarly content such as syllabi or data sets. Even so, if there’s something you think would be of interest, ask us!

How should we select materials and/or collections to be added to DPLA?

  • While you are the best judge of what is unique and valuable from your collections, we encourage you to digitize and/or share content that is representative of communities and voices that do not currently have a wide representation in the cultural heritage community, and surveys of U.S history. Society of American Archivists, North Carolina State University Libraries, and Purchase College, SUNY, have more to say on what this means.
  • The minimum collection size for this grant program is 250 items, but there is virtually no limit on how big a collection can be. Contact us for questions about content or collection size.

Where can I find the metadata requirements for the Ohio Digital Network?

  • The Ohio Digital Network Metadata Application Profile (MAP) v 1.6 outlines each of the required, recommended, and optional fields in the Ohio Digital Network Metadata Schema.
  • The Metadata Manual provides more detailed information about each of required and recommended map fields, as well as important harvesting information.
  • In order to be harvested, institutions must submit a completed New Collection Submission for DPLA Inclusion form for each collection to ODN Metadata Librarian.

What questions should we consider while selecting a metadata consultant?

  • Consider asking your consultant candidates what experience they have working with your chosen metadata schema (such as Dublin Core or Mods), and what experience they have worked with your Data Asset Management System (CONTENTdm, Bepress, etc.). Your ideal candidate will have experience with your metadata schema and systems; or they will have enough background knowledge that they will be able to easily learn your metadata system.You may also ask them how they quality check their work, and what best practices they consider their metadata is the best quality.
  • You may also consider asking about their knowledge of the subject matter of your collection. Good metadata often requires knowledge, or willingness to study the subject matter of the collection. Your ideal candidate should be ready to research the background information of your collection and items when necessary to enhance the metadata of your collection.

What is the timeline of this Grant?

Task Date
Application period opens Monday, May 15, 2023
Application period closes Friday, July 14, 2023
Award notification and contract disbursement Friday, September 30, 20223
Signed grant contract and ODN Contributor Agreement due to State Library of Ohio – grant period begins (initial funds disbursement will be processed upon receipt) Saturday, October 1, 2022
Midpoint check in meeting Tuesday January 23, 2024 (10:00 am ET)
Collection metadata due to ODN Friday, March 29, 2024
Final remediations due for final funds disbursement Friday, May 24, 2024
Final narrative and financial reports due Wednesday, July 31, 2024
Collections added to DPLA June 2024
Grant period ends Sunday, June 30, 2024

How is this grant reviewed?

  • All applications will be reviewed by State Library of Ohio staff. If the application adequately addresses all elements of the grant requirements, the application will be recommended for funding. (If more proposals are eligible for funding than there are funds available, priority will be given to institutions who are not already contributors to Ohio Digital Network, then to smaller libraries, rural libraries, and libraries in areas with high rates of poverty.)
  • The LSTA Department is willing to review draft responses up to 10 days prior to proposal due date. Draft responses may be submitted to; typically, feedback is provided within 3-5 business days.

Who should I contact for questions about this grant?

  • Questions regarding grant process for the Metadata Mini-Grant should be addressed to Penelope Shumaker at
  1. Describe the status of your library’s digital collection(s)? Explain if the collection is digitized, level of metadata, etc. (250 words max)
  2. What Digital Asset Management System(s) does your library use (e.g. CONTENTdm, Omeka)? Does this system have OAI-PMH capabilities, and do staff know how to enable or install them with plug-ins, etc. (e.g. Omeka requires an OAI-PMH plug-in). (150 words max)
  3. What Metadata Schema does your library use for its collection(s), and what metadata Quality Assurance practices are used at your library? (200 words max)
  4. Describe how you will use this grant to prepare this collection(s) for DPLA. If you plan on hiring an outside consultant or vendor, submit a quote from the vendor as an attachment to this application along with their resume. Quote should include information about estimated hours of work required to complete the project and anticipated hourly rate. (250 words max)
  5. Explain the significance of this collection(s) and why your library has chosen it for this project. (200 words max)
  6. Who is likely to access and benefit from the digitization of this collection(s)? (200 words max)
  7. How does your library plan on promoting the collection(s)? (200 words max)

The Metadata Mini-Grant application period has ended. Grant details are provided for information purposes only.