LSTA Grant Project

This assignment came with three choices – project A, B, or C. Without tremendous details, I chose Project B:

  • Contact a library, archive, or other institution that needs to create a plan for a digital library. You will complete a project plan for them including a needs assessment, time frame, potential funding sources, and evaluation criteria.

Below, you can find the individual deliverables for this project, as well as one bulk report for the entire end-result.

Project Proposal

The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company Archives currently resides at the Shepard Memorial library as well as within the Duke University Library system. A portion of it has been digitized, but the majority of the collection remains only accessible by students or faculty within the NC university system who are able to visit the collection in­person. While NC Central is located in Durham, NC ­­ a large metropolis surrounded by multiple academic institutions including Duke University, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill ­­ the fact that the collection is not digitized limits the potential audience for this collection.

You can read the full project proposal here on Dropbox.

LSTA Application

There are a number of benefactors for the digitization of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company Archives. Because the collection is housed within two separate universities – Duke University and North Carolina Central University – the immediate benefactors would be the students and faculty of those two institutions. With the breadth of digitization being what it is, however, the reach of the collection would soon break past the walls of these physical locations. The collection is of immense value to any purveyor of African American history, as the NC Mutual Life Insurance company is one of the largest companies founded by African Americans, and remains the oldest African American insurance company. The collection additionally serves as a unique piece of North Carolina history, as the location for the NC Mutual Life Company was in Durham NC on “Black Wall Street,” a location known through the late 1800s and early 1900s as one of the most vital places in the South for African American entrepreneurs.

You can view the full LSTA grant application here on Dropbox.

Progress Report

This is the second LSTA grant I’ve had the opportunity to write, and I enjoyed the process. I like that grants are so structured and ordered in their demands – they have very specific sections, they demand very specific pieces of information, and they’re best presented when all of that information is contained in easily-read and enjoyed writing. It’s a challenge, and one that I enjoy. The levels of organization also lead to a project that tends to take a longer amount of time, another aspect that I enjoy – according to Google Drive, this grant took 25 days to complete. A nice long project like that is one that I always enjoy having on my plate, as it means I’m constantly thinking about it, looking for ways to improve it, and turning it into a more well-rounded document.

You can view the full progress report here on Dropbox.

Completed Project and Prototype

You can read my completed project review here on Drive.

You can view the prototype digital collection on this CONTENTdm server.


Share an outline of the project with the class. Content coming 27 April.