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The 2009 Heritage Trust Project Grant Recipients
The IGNCA is working to digitize images of Indian culture like the ruins of this majestic sun temple of the 8th century located near Anantnag.
The IGNCA is working to digitize images of Indian culture like the ruins of this majestic sun temple of the 8th century located near Anantnag. Photo courtesy of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
New Delhi, India

NPO Memory of Showa Era
Tokyo, Japan

Instituto de Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas en Saltillo
Coahuila, Mexico

Northeastern University Libraries
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Canadian National Exhibition Archives
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

International Jacques Maritain Institute
Rome, Italy

Van Papier Naar Digitaal (From Paper to Pixels)
Bilthoven, Netherlands


Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

New Delhi, India

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) serves as a guiding and networking institution for Indian cultural resources, especially written, oral, aural, and visual materials. Very little about Indian art and culture is currently documented due its multidisciplinary and multidimensional nature. IGNCA is working to document and digitize more than 100,000 visuals, 1,000 hours of audio and video material, 25,000 rare books, and walk-through presentations on some of the country's archaeological monuments.

The center will use the EMC grant to help support its field work, documentation, and digitization to create a major source of information on Indian art and culture that can be accessed by researchers, students, art historians, archaeologists, and others.

"We take great pride in receiving a grant from EMC's Heritage Trust Project, an organization that strives to protect and improve access to information in communities around the world," says P. Jha, director of cultural informatics at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. "This grant will aid us in enhancing the accessibility of Indian cultural resources through digital technology in an integrated fashion. As part of this project, we will also undertake digitization of information related to Indian art and culture. We thank EMC for helping to further our efforts to preserve the art and culture of our nation."

NPO Memory of Showa Era

Tokyo, Japan

The Memory of Showa Era is an organization created in 1988 to recollect and preserve the experiences of people who lived through Japan's Showa period (1926-1989) before, during, and after World War II. This period, known as "the reign of Emperor Hirohito," consisted of some turbulent times and is deeply embedded in Japanese history.

The organization is now in the process of building a gallery of photographs depicting life and culture in Japan during this key period, aspects of which are being lost in modern-day life. The project will digitize photographs showing time-honored Japanese ways of living and present them on the Memory of Showa website. The web album will include photos of farmers working in the rice fields in traditional attire, young people enjoying leisure time with geisha girls, families walking to neighborhood public baths, soldiers in uniform, towns being rebuilt after the war, and other images of how people lived and worked during the Showa period. Each photo will include an explanation of its context.

The EMC grant will help the Memory of Showa Era acquire the photos and interview the subjects depicted, as well as digitize the images and create the web album.

"It is our great pleasure to be honored as one of the winners of the 2009 Heritage Trust grant," says Naoko Takizawa, representative of Memory of Showa Era. "We have been working to preserve precious memories of the Showa era (1926-1989), a turbulent time for the Japanese. The EMC grant will give us the resources to build the photo library depicting life and culture in Japan at that time. Now we will be able to archive those precious memories for the younger generation. I believe that the archive also is significant in terms of the historical study of people's lifestyles and culture. It would be our great pleasure for more people to recognize our activities and share these precious memories."

Instituto de Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas en Saltillo

Coahuila, Mexico

Bishop Jesús María Echavvarría y Aguirre became an ordained priest in 1886 and was named Bishop for the Diocese of Saltillo, Mexico, in 1905. Like many bishops in Mexico during the first thirty years of the 20th century, Bishop Jesús María Echavvarría y Aguirre's work for the church was interrupted by periods of exile in the United States. He was first exiled from 1914 to 1918 during the 1910-1920 revolution and subsequently left Mexico from 1927 to 1929 due to religious persecution.

The Instituto de Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas en Saltillo has launched a research project called "Diaries, memories, and correspondence of the Third Bishop of Saltillo from 1882 to 1954" and is working to preserve and analyze the documents of this important religious leader. The organization is microfilming and digitizing 5,364 documents, including diaries, memoirs, and correspondence of the bishop.

The project is aimed at understanding the impact of exile on ideological grounds during the Mexican Revolution and the Cristero War in Mexico during the first half of the 20th century in the southern United States. It will also research the history of social and religious practices in the Hispanic community during that time frame.

The EMC grant will be used to microfilm, digitize, and make publicly accessible the works of this prominent religious leader.

"This award brings both a personal and a professional satisfaction. The ethical and aesthetic values that my research represents motivates others to build a better society inspired by exemplary historical characters not only from my country, but from humanity," says Professor Gerardo Salvador González Lara, associate professor of humanities, Humanities and Social Science Division, Instituto de Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas en Saltillo (ITESM), Monterrey campus.

Northeastern University Libraries

Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Since 1996, Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, has been systematically collecting historical material that illuminates the history of Boston's African-American, Chinese, Latino, and gay and lesbian communities. It currently preserves and makes accessible some 100 collections relating to social justice organizations and activities in these communities.

These include rich documentation of themes relating to public policy formation, public health issues, community relations, affordable housing, urban planning, social service delivery, cultural programming, violence prevention, and minority rights during the last decades of the 20th century. These collections provide insights that may have been ignored, misunderstood, or misrepresented. To use most of these materials, researchers currently have to visit the university archives.

With the help of the EMC grant, Northeastern will digitize, create metadata, and make available via the Internet approximately 1,725 images and documents from the La Alternativa and Carmen Pola collections. La Alternativa is a newsletter published by El Colectivo Puertorriqueno de Boston, which was founded in 1982 to raise awareness of issues facing the Puerto Rican community in Boston. Carmen Pola is a Latina community activist who worked for Boston Mayor Ray Flynn in the mid-1980s and with other grassroots social justice organizations. The records focus on significant issues around which the Latinos in Boston found their voices and became actively engaged in changing the course of history.

"While the images and texts forming the La Alternativa and Carmen Pola collections in the university archives are intensely local and culturally specific, the stories they tell speak to the struggles for self-expression and self-determination of urban Latino communities worldwide," says William Wakeling, dean of Northeastern University Libraries. "We join with the other fortunate recipients of funding from the EMC Heritage Trust in giving heartfelt thanks to the Trust for its foresight and commitment to thus honoring the past for the benefit of the future."

Canadian National Exhibition Archives

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) Archives was founded in 1964 to acquire, preserve, and make publicly available records of the Canadian National Exhibition Association, the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, Warriors' Day Parade Council, and the Canadian International Air Show. Its holdings include textual documents, photographs, documentary art, artifacts, and a small but unique collection of film.

The film collection includes footage of construction sites on the exhibition grounds, preparation for various trade shows, grandstand stage shows, and various sporting, dance, musical, and agricultural events. Much of the film in the CNE collection consists of self-destructive cellulose acetate, and there are color photographs with unstable dyes. Both formats are prone to deterioration.

The CNE Archives will use the EMC grant to digitize and store 223 reels of the most important 16 mm films dating from the 1930s to 1970s. It will make samples of the digitized film available on its website and provide high-resolution films in its reading room for researchers, students, and the public. The original films will be preserved in long-term storage.

"Since its founding in 1879, the Canadian National Exhibition has mirrored the changing face of Canadian society," says Linda Cobon, manager of records and archives, Exhibition Place. "The funding from EMC's Heritage Trust Project will allow us to digitize the CNE's extensive film collection. Once the film is digitized, we will be able to make the footage accessible to more researchers and the general public. Digitizing the film will also preserve the footage for future generations."

International Jacques Maritain Institute

Rome, Italy

The International Jacques Maritain Institute is a nonprofit cultural association that promotes research into man, culture, and contemporary society. It is working to collect and preserve the prolific correspondence of French philosopher Jacques Maritain (1882-1973) with major intellectuals and writers of Latin America in the 20th century.

Maritain, widely regarded as the 20th century's greatest Catholic philosopher, influenced the framing of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. He also wrote about metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of nature, aesthetics, and art. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Modernismo, a Spanish-language literary movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Maritain's correspondence with the major intellectuals and writers of Latin America shows a unique historical period of intellectual and artistic richness. Many of his letters are archived at the Centre d'Études et Raïssa Maritain in Kolbsheim, others are in private hands, and some have disappeared.

The institute will use the EMC grant to collect and digitize Maritain's letters. Its goal is to preserve this heritage and make it publicly accessible.

Van Papier Naar Digitaal (From Paper to Pixels)

Bilthoven, Netherlands

Since 2005, a project called Van Papier Naar Digitaal (VPND) has been gathering photographs of genealogical source data to establish an Internet-accessible resource for genealogical researchers. The project is part of Geneaknowhow.net, an Internet domain created in 2000 to support genealogical and local historical research.

The main resource for the VPND is people doing their own research who are willing to take extra photographs of the archives they are searching and to contribute them to a central collection point. Rather than having to manually flip through pages of baptism, marriage, and burial registers, VPND's efforts provide a machine-readable version of ancient texts that can be searched by computer. A group of volunteers is working to transcribe the handwriting on old documents. VPND provides the archives free of charge.

Currently, VPND has amassed 180,000 images (150GB in size) and expects its data to grow to several terabytes in the next five years. It will use EMC's grant to store the data on a dedicated server at a service provider's facility to allow it to maintain this free service.

 

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