ISU Library receives NHPRC Award

Feb 08, 2017 · Monica Gillen

The Iowa State University Library Special Collections and University Archives secured a $118,825 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Funds will support a two-year project to migrate nearly 1,500 existing and 200 nearly-complete text-based finding aids into a new archives management system that complies with EAD (Encoded Archival Description).

With respect to archives, a finding aid is a document compiled by archivists that comprises the details of a collection and helps researchers readily discover the items in it. The collections primarily focus on agriculture and rural life, life sciences, engineering, and the history of Iowa State University.

?Credit Principal Investigator Laura Sullivan and the archivists and staff of Special Collections and University Archives for their work in securing this grant,? said Dean of Library Services Beth McNeil. ?An important University Library core value is to collect and preserve knowledge and research ? past, present and future for all generations. Distinct archival collections housed at Iowa State will be more visible and accessible to our current and future scholars and students.? ?

SCUA is committed to providing access to all of its collections. The new archives management system will enhance efficiency for collection administration and description practices, but more significantly, it will offer researchers an improved public user interface compared to the current SCUA website.

?We?re very excited to have received this grant,? said Collections Archivist Laura Sullivan, Principal Investigator. ?Transferring our finding aids to the new archives management system will provide our users with an efficient, powerful tool for the access and discovery of our collections.?For institutions with a large collection such as ours, this process can often take many years to complete.?With the grant, we can now do this far more quickly than would otherwise be possible.?

Grant funds will support a two-year term staff member and a student assistant to execute this project, which will begin in June and be complete in May 2019. Watch for updates on the SCUA?website, Facebook, Twitter and?Cardinal Tales: The Blog of Special Collections and University Archives.

About NHPRC: The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States.


Laura Sullivan, Collections Archivist

Brad Kuennen, University Archivist