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Press Release  
Release Date: Friday, October 4, 2013 6:56 PM
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Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Howard University Libraries Receives a $200,000 IMLS National Leadership Grant

WASHINGTON (October 2, 2013) -- Last week the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded approximately $10 million to support 40 library projects. The projects were selected from 137 eligible applications. Howard University Libraries received $200,000 from the IMLS to create the Portal to the Black Experience. Using emerging metadata practices, this internet portal will identify creators of published and archival materials, through filtered searches of individual attributes such as race, gender, and occupation. The project will use Howard Universities Libraries and Moorland-Spingarn Research Center catalog records to construct the portal. The project will last eighteen months and will be completed by June 1, 2015.

 The IMLS grant proposal was authored by Andrew T. Sulavik (Head of Metadata and Resources Description Services, Howard University Libraries). Seth Kronemer (Archivist, Howard University School of Law) and Sean Varner (Metadata Librarian, Howard University Libraries) were co-authors.

"This discovery portal is expected to fundamentally re-shape the way searches for materials about the global Black experience will be conducted," says Dr. Sulavik, the project director. The project will be supported by in-kind contributions from the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., the Library of Congress, the Social Networks and Archival Context Project, the Washington Research Library Consortium, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

In commenting on the recently awarded National Leadership Grants for Libraries, Maura Marx, Deputy Director for the IMLS Office of Library Services, said, "Reviewers identified these proposals as examples of the types of highly innovative projects we seek to fund through this program, with broad potential impact for other libraries and archives across the nation.”


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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