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Funded Projects Query Form
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Grant number like: PW-50299-09

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American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA 19106-3309)
Martin L. Levitt (Project Director: August 2008 to October 2011)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

Totals (outright + matching):
$337,232 (approved)
$337,232 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Amplifying Access to Manuscript Collections: Saving Legacy Data in Historical Card Catalogs

The production and enhancement of finding aids for 178 manuscript collections comprising 2,165 linear feet pertaining to American intellectual and cultural history from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries.

The American Philosophical Society requests support to dramatically enhance accessibility to manuscript collections focusing on American history from the colonial era through the early Republic, Native American anthropology, and the history of science from the 18th century forward. These collections are currently documented in two antiquated card catalogs that reference approximately 15% of the Librarys 10 million manuscripts. With the experience of a completed pilot project involving item-level cards for holdings related to Benjamin Franklin, the Society now proposes to digitize item-level or folder-level descriptions available in these card catalogs and "work up," creating web-accessible EAD finding aids and ensuring that these important humanities collections are processed to modern archival standards. The project will serve as a model for other primary source repositories facing similar problems of legacy data in antiquated manuscripts card catalogs.