At my job, one of my primary responsibilities involves a grant project we have that is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Just this week, they announced a new round of funded projects. Some of them caught my genealogy eye as they have potential to be of benefit for family history researchers.
The full list of funded projects can be found here but the following are of interest:
- Florida – Orange County Library System(Orlando) — the library is planning to work with community partners to prototype and evaluate the feasibility of a new type of library service geared towards creating openly accessible online databases of obituaries. The online obits will be places where family and friends can submit detailed tributes and in doing so, help build a meaningful history of the residents of the community. This is a planning project, so the database will not be built in this round of funding, but concepts surrounding it will be explored.
- Chicago – American Library Association – another planning grant; in this project, the ALA will begin a collaboration with StoryCorps to make the service accessible to public libraries across the country. The StoryCorps program is an important one for capturing oral histories, so the more that we can capture now, the better off we will be in the future.
- Southeastern New York Library Resources Council – to increase awareness of oral histories, the organization will work with libraries, museums, community organizations and others to digitize oral histories from several repositories. They will create radio broadcasts, create linked and dynamic websites to showcase the collections and create mobile apps. Sweet.