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Clearwater Library Wins National Endowment Grant

Digital Library | Library | NEH Grant

The grant is only one of two awarded in Florida.

CLEARWATER – The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $12,000 grant to the Clearwater Public Library System to make historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements digitally available to the wider public and for posterity.

These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Common Heritage grant program, which was created in April 2015 as part of the Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, an agency-wide initiative that seeks to enhance the role of the humanities in civic life. NEH Common Heritage grants of up to $12,000 were awarded to 38 community cultural organizations in 21 states and the District of Columbia. The Clearwater system is one of only two institutions in Florida to have been awarded the grant.

The Common Heritage grant will allow Clearwater to host “digitization days,” encouraging members of the public to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters and works of art. These items will be digitized, along with descriptive information and context provided by the community attendees. With the owner’s permission, the digitized materials will be made publicly available through the library’s online Pinellas Memory Project. Contributors will receive a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials.

The NEH grant will also support library programming that celebrates and expands knowledge of the community’s past and the diverse histories of its members. It will coincide with programs and activities throughout 2016 in celebration of the Clearwater Public Library System’s 100th anniversary.

For information about the Pinellas Memory Project, go to pinellasmemory.contentdm. For information about the NEH grant, go to neh.gov.

Clearwater | Clearwater Library | National Endowment for the Humanities | Pinellas Memory | TB Reporter

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