Grants and partnerships are vital components in the growth and success of UK Libraries. With the institutional support of funding organizations and partners, we have been able to pursue developmental opportunities, create novel areas of impact, and build upon our world-class services, resources, and collections to better serve our users and invite more students, teachers, and scholars to participate in the research process. Such support has enhanced ongoing efforts to arrange, describe, and process archival collections, increase access to and improve the discoverability of our materials, elevate historically marginalized voices, update our equipment and technology, and preserve fragile materials for new generations of researchers.
We are proud to count among our grant-funded and partner-supported successes the development of innovative tools, leading digital libraries, and major collections of national importance. Along the way, we have developed close and productive relationships with leading institutions committed to driving research and library services forward. As thoughtful stewards of the support that we receive, we are committed to leveraging every opportunity to pursue our strategic priorities and fulfill our organizational values and mission.
Below, you can browse UK Libraries’ grants and partnerships by project type or by institution.
“P.S. Write Again Soon”: Revealing 200 Years of the American Mosaic through the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters, 2018-2020. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded UK Libraries a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to make available 355 cubic feet of letters, diaries, and personal papers from the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters. Additionally, 50 cubic feet of material will be digitized. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters is an invaluable body of primary source materials providing a rich look into American history from the Colonial period to the Vietnam War. Areas of insight include everyday life and common struggles, race, courtship practices, mental health, immigration to the United States, sexuality and identity, the impact of war, and countless other research subjects. The grant will fund a two-year Project Archivist position and will result in over 2,000 finding aids and 80,000 digitized documents.
Coal, Camps, and Railroads, 2013-2016. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded UK Libraries a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to digitize 132 cubic feet (264,000 pages) of portions of the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection held at the Special Collections Research Center, focusing on 189 years of economic development in the Eastern Kentucky coalfield from 1788 to 1976. The ten individual collections document the search for, extraction of, and distribution of coal, oil, and natural gas resources in Breathitt, Boyd, Clark, Floyd, Harlan, Lawrence, Letcher, Perry, and Powell counties; the creation of railroads to bring these raw materials to industrial manufacturers and electrical power generators across the United States; and the company towns, their services, and the individual lives that grew up to sustain and make possible this economic development.
Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), 2011. The Institution for Museum and Library Services awarded UK Libraries a National Leadership Grant to further development on OHMS, an open source web-based system that inexpensively and efficiently enhances online access to and discovery of oral histories. OHMS provides users word-level search capability and a time-correlated transcript or index connecting the textual search term to the corresponding moment in the recorded interview online. More information on OHMS can be found on our Oral History Resources page.
National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), 2005-2013. The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress partnered to form NDNP, a long-term effort to provide permanent access to a national digital resource of historic newspapers, focusing on content published between 1936 and 1922. UK was selected for the pilot run based on the strength of our microfilming efforts and has received a total of 4 award cycles. For more information, visit the Kentucky Digital Newspaper Program. More digitized newspapers can be found in the NDNP database, Chronicling America.
Action in Appalachia: Revealing Public Health, Housing, and Community Development Records in the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center, 2015-2017. The Council on Library and Information Resources awarded UK Libraries a Cataloging Hidden Collections grant to arrange and describe 645 cubic feet of Appalachian records comprising seven hidden collections of War on Poverty-era, social justice organizational records. These community-driven groups worked to improve public health, housing, education and economic development from the 1960s to the present by taking action in Appalachia. Accessibility to these collections will contribute to new scholarship and public understanding about the social and economic development of Appalachia. Records featured in "Action in Appalachia" are a part of the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, which comprises more than 3,000 linear feet of primary source material relating to the history, culture and development of Eastern Kentucky and the Central Appalachian region. It is one of the premiere collecting areas in the Special Collections Research Center and is among the highest in demand for researchers across the United States and beyond.
Arranging and Describing Archives Related to Appalachian History and Culture, 2005. UK Libraries and the UK Appalachian Center was selected for a We the People Grant for the archival processing and production of machine readable finding aids for over 2,600 linear feet of significant Appalachian archival collections housed at UK. These finding aids are available on ExploreUK.
Wildcat Histories: Preserving Activist UK Student Organization's Legacies, 2022. Project STAND awarded a grant to UK Libraries and the Latino Student Union (LSU) to use LSU digital archival records as a pilot for developing procedures and guidelines for preserving social media of student organizations. Through this project, the University will also execute an outreach initiative with 15 additional BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or non-Christian religious student organizations that have been active on campus for more than 10 years.
Freedom on the Move, 2019-present. UK Libraries has partnered with the national Freedom on the Move project (FOTM) housed at Cornell University to locate, digitize, and provide metadata on fugitive slave advertisements in newspapers across the United States. Because of Kentucky’s long-standing participation with various national newspaper preservation and access programs, UK Libraries will now take a lead role for Cornell University Libraries in building digitization, description, and submission processes for other state partners for FOTM. The UK Freedom on the Move (UK FOTM) project is funded by the Central Kentucky Slavery Initiative (CKSI), the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS), and UK Libraries.
Research Equipment Award, 2023. UK Libraries was selected to receive a 2023 Research Equipment Competition award sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The award will fund a visualization wall for The Stacks, the digital scholarship center planned for the ground floor of the south side of the Margaret I. King Library. The interactive visualization wall will allow users to bring their research data to life and provide opportunities to showcase digital scholarship projects to the UK community.
Research Equipment Award, 2018. UK Libraries was selected to receive a 2018 Research Equipment Competition award sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The award funded the purchase of a Bookeye 4 Color Planetary Scanner for the Breckinridge Research Room in the Special Collections Research Center. The scanner allows users to quickly and efficiently capture high resolution images of bound research materials and facilitates greater access to the research process.
UK Campus Facilities Let’s Make a Difference Awards, 2021-2023. Launched in 2021, the Let’s Make a Difference Initiative invites members of the UK community to submit proposals to transform a public space on campus. UK Libraries has received several Let’s Make a Difference Awards:
2023. The Special Collections Research Center was awarded a grant to purchase and install several patio umbrellas for community tables outside the Margaret I. King Library.
2022. William T. Young Library was award a grant to provide new furnishings and partial privacy screens for the New Books Reading Area on the First Floor, a favorite for library users.
2021. The Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library was awarded a grant to install ADA door openers and buttons to the restrooms on the Second Floor, improving the accessibility on the library’s primary study floor.
Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Trust Awards, 2016-2023. The Donovan Memorial Trust was established for the creation of a campus environment that promotes an appreciation of the qualities of beauty and loveliness. UK Libraries has received several Donovan Trust Awards since the fund’s inception in 2016:
2023-2024. An award to develop a portable holographic display that will serve as a unique tool for creating immersive educational experiences for students across all disciplines, from architecture to biology to studio art.
2022-2023. An award to purchase a digital wall display for data visualization projects in The Stacks.
2022-2023. An award to purchase two iconic mid-century modern chairs, housed in the Fine Arts Library.
2020-2021. An award to purchase an iconic mid-century modern Swan Chair designed by architect Arne Jacobsen, housed in the Fine Arts Library.
2020-2021. An award to purchase a set of 12 Panton Chairs to be used by students and for public events at the Special Collections Research Center.
2019-2020. An award to purchase a Victor Talking Machine to allow students to explore the history of music technology, housed at the Fine Arts Library.
2017-2018. An award to purchase an iconic mid-century Egg Chair designed by the architect Arne Jacobsen, housed in the Fine Arts Library.
2017-2018. An award to plan, install, and host "Beyond These Prisoning Hills: The Life and Legacy of Appalachia’s James Still," an extensive exhibit highlighting collections held by UK Libraries pertaining to Still’s life and legacy.
2016-2017. An award to purchase two iconic mid-century modern reproduction Womb Chairs designed by architect Eero Saarinen, housed in the Fine Arts Library.
Sounding Spirit. 2020-present. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a grant to Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship to build a digital library of over 1,200 hymnals and songbooks from the US South published between 1850 and 1925. UK Libraries and the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, along with five other institutions across the United States, were chosen to partner in the project. The Sounding Spirit digital library will expand the canon of American sacred music by including songbooks from a wide range of underrepresented populations not yet fully acknowledged as important contributors to American history.
John C. Wyatt Lexington Herald-Leader Preservation and Access Project, 2004. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission awarded UK Libraries a grant to preserve and provide access to the most at-risk negatives in the John C. Wyatt Lexington Herald-Leader Photographs Collection. The collection consists of an estimated 1.5 million items spanning the years 1939-1990, with the bulk of the collection documenting 1946-1990. The collection contains photographic negatives, associated newspaper clippings, job sheets, and hand-written photographers’ notes. The LHL photographs are an unparalleled source of photographic evidence documenting Lexington's 20th century history.
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