New Granting Program Available to Preserve at Risk Recordings

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has just announced that they have been awarded $2,725,000  by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a regranting program to digitize “at risk” audio and audiovisual materials of high scholarly value.

In order to develop the new regranting program, CLIR  is partnering with the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC).  In January 2017, the two organizations will begin the program with a call for pilot proposals, focusing only on the reformatting of magnetic audio media to be digitized through NEDCC’s new audio preservation services.  During this pilot phase, CLIR will award a total $150,000, in awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, to cover direct costs of audio reformatting services provided by NEDCC. This pilot phase will help to develop guidelines and criteria for the new regranting program.

After the initial pilot phase CLIR will:

  • Launch 3 open competitions: June 2017, Dec. 2017 and May 2018
  • Award $2.15 million over 2 years
  • Award grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000
  • Open the project to cover direct costs of preservation reformatting of audio and audiovisual content by eligible institutions working independently or with qualified service providers

CLIR will use the following criteria to evaluate projects:

  • Scholarly or public impact of proposed projects
  • Urgency of undertaking those projects
  • Viability of applicants’ plans for long-term preservation
  • Overall cost-effectiveness of the proposals

Much of our 20th and 21st century history has been captured on audio and audiovisual recordings.  The cultural heritage institutions that hold this material are at risk of losing it due to the fragility of this media.  With this new program CLIR hopes to help institutions address issues of audio and audiovisual reformatting and preservation within their collections.

More information about the program, including institutional requirements and pilot program application content, can be found here.