Emory’s Rose Library receives NEH grant for Black Print Culture project

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a planning grant of $46,630 to the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University for The Wayfinder Project: Revealing Black Print Culture to a Linked World, 1830-.

A newsboy is pictured in 1942 selling the Chicago Defender, one of many Black newspapers in the book “African American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography.” Photo by Jack Delano, April 1942, Library of Congress. https://lccn.loc.gov/2017829258

The Wayfinder project is an initiative to reimagine James Danky and Maureen Hady’s 1998 “African American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography.” The project will add new serials to the bibliography and republish the current volume using a linked data framework to make it more searchable, discoverable, and usable. The newspapers and periodicals at the core of this project contain the richest, most detailed record of 19th and 20th century African American life and thought. They are an unparalleled resource for understanding the African American past.

The collaborative effort is led by the Rose Library, in partnership with the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) and the Research, Engagement and Scholarly Communications division and Access and Resource Services division of Emory Libraries.

The grant will support the planning work to launch the project, which will include establishing an advisory committee to guide the decision-making of the project team. The team also will develop a data model, metadata mapping plan, cataloging standards, an editorial model, and a design for the online version of this foundational bibliographic resource.

“I am thrilled about this collaborative effort among the Rose Library, Emory Libraries, and ECDS to create an online version of Maureen Hady and James Danky’s seminal bibliography,” said Rose Library director Jennifer Gunter King. “This project brings our library’s work into conversation with linked data and African American newspapers and digital humanities work nationally, giving us the opportunity to learn from an advisory board of experts and improve access to this foundational text. Emory is well situated to undertake this project, given the expertise of our staff and the depth of our African American print holdings. We are delighted to be entrusted with this project.”

In addition to King, the project proposal team includes:

  • Erica Bruchko, librarian for African American Studies and US history, Emory Libraries
  • Clint Fluker, curator of African American Collections, Rose Library
  • Richard Gess, serials coordinator (now retired), Emory Libraries
  • Sara Palmer, digital text specialist, ECDS
  • Elizabeth Russey Roke, discovery and metadata archivist, Rose Library
  • Kayla Shipp, digital scholarship specialist, publishing, ECDS

“Linked data is the foundation of this grant and it represents a new chapter in discovery of library and archival collections,” said Roke. “Instead of focusing on the description of a single book or periodical title, linked data prioritizes building connections, similar to how the web links one webpage to another. Our challenge in this grant is to explore how to build on the Danky source material and connect it to other sources of information about Black newspapers and periodicals, especially the people, places, and communities that created and used these materials.”


Related links:

NEH Announces $33.17 Million for 245 Humanities Projects Nationwide

African American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography (Harvard University Press)

African American History and Culture Collections in the Rose Library – LibGuide

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