The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded a grant of nearly $12,000 to the Clearwater Public Library System to bring historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements and make them digitally available to the wider public and for posterity. It is one of only two institutions in the state of Florida to have been awarded the grant.
These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Common Heritage grant program, which was created in April 2015 as part of The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, an agency-wide initiative that seeks to enhance the role of the humanities in civic life.
The Common Heritage grant awarded to the Clearwater Public Library System will allow it to host “digitization days,” encouraging members of the public to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters and works of art.
These items will be digitized, along with descriptive information and context provided by the community attendees. With the owner’s permission, the digitized materials will be made publicly available through the library’s online Pinellas Memory Project http://clearwater.pinellasmemory.org. Contributors will receive a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials.
Residents may bring items to be digitized at the following days, times and locations:
>Saturday, September 17, 2016; noon-5 p.m.; Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755. At 1 p.m., Local librarian and genealogist Karen Fortin will discuss Clearwater’s local history resources.
>Saturday, September 24, 2016; 12:30-4:30 p.m., Clearwater East Library, 2251 Drew Street, Clearwater, FL 33765-3306.
>Monday, November 7, 2016; 1-5 p.m.; Clearwater North Greenwood Library, 905 N. MLK Jr. Ave, Clearwater, FL 33755-3351.