Thursday, May 6, 2010

NEH awards grant to Library to complete Du Bois digitization

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries have been awarded a grant of $314,787 from the National Endowment for the Humanities' We the People program to complete digitization of the papers of African-American intellectual and activist W.E.B. Du Bois.

In 2009, with the support of a Verizon Foundation grant, Special Collections and University Archives embarked on the historic project to make the Du Bois Papers, consisting of more than 100,000 items, available freely on the Internet. At the halfway mark of the Verizon Foundation project, Special Collections has scanned 35,000 pages and created records for more than 11,000 items. Funds from the NEH will enable Special Collections to make the entire collection available online by the end of 2013. The images will be available at the end of the project at

We the People is an NEH program designed to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history, culture and democratic principles.

Since 1973, the UMass Amherst Library has housed the W.E.B. Du Bois Papers, a collection of more than 100,000 letters, photographs, manuscripts, memorabilia and audiovisual materials. Widely recognized as one of nation's most significant collections for the study of African-American history, the Du Bois collection offers insight into a wide range of social and historical movements. Included is Du Bois' correspondence with figures such as Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, Albert Einstein and Mohandas Gandhi.

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