Locust Grove Funding

Three potential sources of funding include the following foundations:

The James J. McCann Charitable Trust and McCann Foundation, Inc. were established in the 1960s and while they are separate legal entities they function as a single combined entity. In 1979, the foundation's policy of making most grants to the general Poughkeepsie area was extended indefinitely to the Dutchess County area. The general purpose of the foundation is to provide funding and support for the arts, education, health, children and social services, sports associations, and Christian agencies and churches. The types of projects they fund include conferences/seminars, continuing support, equipment
 and seed money. The McCann Foundation is an excellent fit as a founding source for the Locust Grove Diary project. Located in Poughkeepsie and focused on providing funding for organizations and institution in Dutchess County, the McCann Foundation would seem to be a natural supporter of developing the cultural institutions of the area. As such, pitching this project to the foundation could be approached from a few different angles. Since they fund equipment the most straightforward would be to seek money for the hardware and software needed for digitization and as a pilot project to make the archival materials held by Dutchess County historic sites more accessible to scholars and the public. A more oblique approach would be to pitch the education and curriculum component of the project as an opportunity to engage the local school system and make the collections of the area’s historic sites more accessible and usable for the community. A third approach could tie into the NEH requirement to disseminate information about ht project by using McCann Foundation money to host a conference or seminar on Dutchess County history and/or digital humanities, using the diary project as its foundation.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program on digital information and technology could be one source of outside funding for the diary project. The aim of this program is to increase access to human knowledge and culture while developing a better framework for understanding the information economy. To date, the program has primarily encouraged digitizing material in the public domain; assuring public archiving, preservation and open access of this material; and fostering its availability to people everywhere. The pitch to the Sloan Foundation would have to emphasize the wider scope of the project, with the Locust Grove diaries representing the first stage. Since the Locust Grove archives are not generally accessible to the public, as with most of the archival material held at Hudson Valley historic sites, digitizing this material and making it freely available to a wider audience would fit the goals and objectives of the Sloan Foundation program. The once concern in pitch this project to them is that the other projects that have received funding have been on a much larger scale (i.e. Internet Archive, Library of Congress) than the Locust Grove project is currently. However, it might be a justification for taking the project beyond a single institution or locality to make it more useful and applicable to a wider audience in bringing to light themes of American history and society.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. The Institute serves and works with teachers, students, scholars, and the general public. It helps create history-centered schools, organizes seminars and programs for educators, produces print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions, sponsors lectures by eminent historians, and administers a History Teacher of the Year Award in every state through its partnership with Preserve America. The primary mission of the Institute dovetails nicely with the goals and objectives of the diary project, and the larger concept of making the history of the Hudson Valley more approachable through digitizing archival material in the collections of the region’s historic sites. Pitching this project to the Institute would focus on making archival collection more widely available to scholars and student, especially since the material is not general accessible in it’s current form. Also, focus on the educational and curriculum development aspects of the project would hopefully appeal to the Institute’s stated goal of disseminating information on American history. Finally, any planned outreach and public programming related to the project, such as a seminar or conference, would also hopefully attract funding from the Institute.

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