The New-York Historical Society has announced they are building their first-ever accessible archive of electronic material in all formats, thanks to a $1,000,000 grant from the Leon Levy Foundation.
Taking place over the course of five years, this project is expected to both document the last three decades of the New-York Historical’s history, and implement best practices for digital archiving. It’s also hoped to position New-York Historical to begin actively collecting digital material as part of its collection development program, including documents, photographs, PowerPoint presentations, audio files, and video stored on a variety of media. New-York Historical is expected to make the work products developed over the course of the project freely available to other repositories as possible templates.
As the oldest museum in New York City as well as one of the nation’s principal research libraries, New-York Historical Society’s initiative will chronicle the evolution of New-York Historical’s recent exhibition content, including material documenting the exhibition creation process, elements of each show, and accompanying audio and video content, along with the micro-websites for individual exhibitions. It will also include digital material on its past 30 years of public programs and digital educational resources.
The New-York Historical Society is planning to name its digital library the Shelby White and Leon Levy Digital Library. Already containing hundreds of thousands of images of books, manuscripts, photographs, drawings, and prints from the Library’s holdings, as well as thousands of objects from the Museum collections, this growing digital library will also host and make accessible the newly processed electronic content resulting from the project. These collections are expected to be accessible in large part online, with selected bodies of material available exclusively on-site.
This project continues New-York Historical’s previous work with the Leon Levy Foundation to process and make public its paper-based institutional archive, spanning the first 210 years of its history.
For more information about the New-York Historical Society, visit their website.
For more information about the Leon Levy Foundation, visit their website.
Photo of New-York Historical Society provided.