The Moravian Archives has been selected to receive a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant to support the project “Archiving Antigua: A Digital Record of Pre- and Post-Emancipation Antigua, 1760-1948.” The grant was awarded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), in Washington, DC, and announced today.
Our project was one of 14 selected from a total of 125 applications. The grant is made in the amount of $67,049 which we will use to digitize approximately 13,248 pages of manuscript records of the Moravian Church in Antigua, 1760-1948. Already sought in high demand by scholars and by Caribbean descendants, these invaluable materials will be digitized at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), with descriptive metadata added at the MAB, and then made freely accessible to researchers across the world via the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC).
The Digitizing Hidden Collections program supports the creation of digital representations of unique content of high scholarly significance that will be discoverable and usable as elements of a coherent national collection. The grant is generously supported by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2009, the Moravian Archives in partnership with Lehigh University received a grant from CLIR’s Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program, the predecessor of the current Digitizing Hidden Collections program.
The “Archiving Antigua” project is part of our long-range plan to preserve and to make the records from the Moravian Church in the Eastern West Indies accessible.
In 1968 these records were transferred to the Bethlehem Archives by the Moravian Church in the Eastern West Indies with the express wish to preserve the records in a controlled environment. In 2015 we received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to assess the EWI records for its humanities values and to conduct an item-by-item collection survey of the material, including condition reports, treatment plans and cost estimates for treatment and digitization.