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The Kent State University Libraries have been awarded an Ohio Archives Grant of $2,000 for the proposal “Providing Access to the Kent State Shootings Audio Archive.” The Ohio Archives Grants are funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, an arm of the National Archives and Records Administration through their State and National Archival Partnership Grants program. The funded projects include organizing and preserving historical records and cataloging and digitizing records for improved access.
University Libraries faculty members Cara Gilgenbach, Virginia Dressler, and Lae’l Hughes-Watkins prepared the successful proposal. The project will digitally capture all of the reel-to-reel audio recordings in the May 4 archive, which contains primary, archival sources related to the 1970 Kent State shootings and their aftermath. Gilgenbach, Head of Special Collections and Archives noted, “As we head toward the 50th anniversary of this pivotal event in American history, we seek to provide expanded access to unprocessed portions of the collection, especially audio-visual materials, which are highly sought by researchers.” Even though this project is relatively small in scope, it is important because it is both preservation and access oriented in its approach to save these high-risk, fragile sources and make their content readily available to the public.
Cara Gilgenbach, Head, Special Collections and Archives