In the current budget climate, the subject of grant funding is vital to conversations about digitization. If you’re considering a digitization project, even on a small scale, you might wonder what sorts of funds are available for your project.
If you’re considering a project that helps to engage the public with the law and you have an enterprising person or team of people who need some time to work on the early stages of a project, consider the Knight Foundation. Their Prototype Fund provides $35,000 to innovators, and gives them six months to research and test before building out their full project. They have funded projects to distribute audio for state legislative sessions, state code and other legal texts, and several projects that promote citizen access to and engagement with government. Their next deadline for submission is November 16, 2015. http://www.knightfoundation.org/what-we-fund/.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has a Scholarly Communications and Information Technology program, and funds on many levels, up to millions and down to the tens of thousands. The Mellon Foundation’s broader program in Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities may also be of interest to librarians seeking support for digitization. See, e.g., https://mellon.org/programs/higher-education-and-scholarship-humanities/.
The FDLP’s Digitization Projects Registry also lists several agencies that provide grant opportunities, including the IMLS, NEH, and NSF. http://registry.fdlp.gov/legal-a-regulatory.
The NEH has many funding opportunities, including for smaller institutions: http://www.neh.gov/grants/preservation/preservation-assistance-grants-smaller-institutions.
Other funding sources include:
IMLS Grants to States: https://www.imls.gov/grants/apply-grant/available-grants “largest source of federal funding support for library services in the U.S.” LSTA Grants – check at state level (e.g., California http://www.library.ca.gov/grants/lsta/apply.html)
NEH Preservation Grants http://www.neh.gov/grants
NHPRC Digital Dissemination of Archival Collections Grant (National Historic and Public Records Commission) http://www.archives.gov/nhprc/announcement/digital.html