PIDL awarded federal grant for digitizing historical collection

The Presque Isle District Library (PIDL) is the recipient of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Services Technology Act Improving Access to Information grant through the Library of Michigan in the amount of $15,084 for the digitization of a historical collection entitled, “Presque Isle County Sesquicentennial (1871-2021) Digitization Project.” 

This extensive collection will be made available to the general public and academia through the Michigan Service Hub of the Digital Public Library of America.  Regional support for this project will be fulfilled through the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. 

“Once this historical collection is digitized, it will be made available to the general public worldwide and we are committed to ensure that the collection is sustainable and maintained in perpetuity.  Also, October is Family History Month.  This is a great time to celebrate our local genealogical history,” stated Amber Alexander, PIDL director.  

“We plan to hire two part-time individuals who are skilled in computer technology to help with the scanning and digitization process for the duration of the grant project.”

Partnering with the Presque Isle County Historical Museum (PICHM), this collective archive spans 150 years.  

“The museum has a massive collection of documents, photos, and genealogies that trace the 150-year history of the county and Rogers City.  Through this partnership with the library, our most valuable research and reference materials will be available online and at no cost to people around the globe.  This has been a goal for the museum that goes back to when we first acquired the massive Calcite photo collection,” said Mark Thompson, curator and executive director o

f the PICHM.

Both organizations will be working together to scan and digitize the Great Lakes’ maritime and lumbering history, early homesteading, the historic Calcite Collection, oral history recordings, archival correspondence and related documents.  There are nearly 76,000 items to be digitized and preserved for future generations.  The grant period is for one year starting Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2021. 

Anne Belanger, who will act as the grant administrator on the project, is the program director and grant writer with PIDL.  

“During the statewide shutdown due to the pandemic, I was researching grant opportunities that addressed the needs of our community and this particular grant was well-suited for both the museum and the library.  It offered us an opportunity to collaborate in a meaningful way to address how we could preserve the historical collection of our combined archives.  It was a very competitive grant.  Only 10 applicants were approved out of 23 applicants.  We are very grateful for this opportunity,” stated Belanger. 4120-library