The Washington University Libraries have been awarded a $50,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will allow the Libraries to implement Hydra, a powerful open-source software system used by research institutions around the world to provide access to their digital content. Equally important, Hydra facilitates collaboration among institutions that want to share their digital collections and link them to related materials held elsewhere.
Over a period of two years, the grant will cover costs for technical skill-building among staff, expanded technological infrastructure, and internal and external outreach as well as interaction with the wider community of Hydra users and developers. Such efforts expand on technical resources already in place at the Libraries. This is essential as more and more materials are being delivered online and as the number of faculty-driven humanities projects grows.
“Hydra can help us deliver a vast amount of content that is currently inaccessible, particularly drawing upon our special collections of rare or unique materials,” says Associate University Librarian Chris Freeland, who led the grant-writing effort.
This grant is awarded to Washington University Libraries as a “New Director’s Grant” in connection with Jeffrey Trzeciak’s role as University Librarian here, which began in July 2012. This is the University Libraries’ second grant from the Mellon Foundation. The earlier grant, awarded in 2011, funded the preservation of the award-winning documentary film series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, along with 75 hours of unedited interviews conducted for that series.
“We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for the continuing interest and support provided to our Libraries,” says Trzeciak. “This latest grant comes at a critical time. It will have a lasting impact, allowing the Washington University community and people around the world to use these important materials far into the future.”
The Hydra user community has some 25 contributing institutions from around the world, including Yale, Stanford, the University of Virginia, Indiana University, Northwestern University, Notre Dame, and Case Western Reserve University.
For more information about the Hydra Project, visit projecthydra.org.
by Joy Lowery, director of communications, WU Libraries. 314-935-5418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.