Grants will digitize Obama memorabilia, early maps

photo in the Joe Conzo archive
This photo, which is part of the Joe Conzo archive in Cornell's hip-hop archive, is an example of what's being digitized.

Cornell University Library and the College of Arts and Sciences have awarded 11 new grants to create new digital content in support of visual and interactive learning, teaching and research. Valuable resources ranging from African-American photographs to maps of Southeast Asia will soon be available to researchers, thanks to the Grants Program for Digital Collections.

The 2012 projects and faculty leads include:

  • Peter Enns, assistant professor of government -- to digitize and convert images into machine-readable text of a sample of newspapers to allow the textual analysis of how changes in campaign sources influence candidates' political speech.
  • Cheryl Finley, associate professor of art history -- to digitize the Lowentheil Collection of African-American Photographs and make these uncommonly rare photographs accessible to scholars.
  • Fred Gleach, senior lecturer and curator of the anthropology collections -- to digitize some of the objects in the anthropology collections, which are used for teaching and research purposes but are not regularly accessible due to facility and staffing limitations.
  • Travis Gosa, assistant professor of Africana studies -- to provide online access to Cornell Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections' compilation of political campaign publicity and memorabilia documenting the 2008 campaign and election of President Barack Obama.
  • Peter Uwe Hohendahl, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of German Studies and Comparative Literature -- to build an interactive resource of the fragmentary "atlas of images" left by German Jewish art historian Aby M. Warburg, which will serve as a multimedia companion to the series, "Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures and Thought."
  • Tamara Loos, associate professor of history -- to provide online access to the early maps of Southeast Asia, currently available only for on-site use.
  • Kathryn March, professor of anthropology -- to create a digital Tamang Study Center, an online archive based upon 37 years of research among the Tamang of central highland Nepal.
  • Tim Murray, director of the Society for the Humanities and professor of comparative literature and English -- to continue a project to digitize and preserve the Experimental Television Center video collection.
  • Steve Pond, associate professor and chair of music, and Travis Gosa, assistant professor of Africana studies -- to digitize the Conzo Archive, an assemblage of photographic prints by Bronx photographer Joe Conzo Jr., in Cornell's hip-hop collection.
  • Steve Pond, associate professor and chair of music -- to digitize hip-hop party and event flyers from Cornell's hip-hop collection, potentially with crowd sourcing and mapping capabilities included.
  • Deborah Starr, associate professor of Near Eastern studies -- to digitize the only known complete copies of diaries and manuscripts of Waguih Ghali, an Egyptian Coptic Anglophone writer and political exile.

This is the third round of annual grants; 2011 awards included digitization of Cornell's coin collection and the creation of a "Divine Comedy" Image Archive for the chief epic poem in Italian literature, among other projects.

The program was developed by the Arts and Sciences Visual Resources Advisory Group, co-chaired by Sturt Manning, professor of classics, and Oya Rieger, associate university librarian for digital scholarship and preservation services. The group oversees the grants program and determines arts and sciences faculty needs for a usable and sustainable visual resources digitization service.

For information on the 2013 grants program, contact Proposals are due in March 2013; awards will be announced in May.

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