Need and Rationale
Many libraries, schools, historical and genealogical organizations maintain and make available to the public microfilm rolls and fiche containing local newspapers, naturalization records, local church records, census records and other primary historic documents. Although microfilm/fiche readers enable access to these records, it is only partial access. Therefore, small research libraries through this grant must acquire machines capable of creating copies, either through printing on paper or to digital file, or both.
The public expects greater digital access to primary historic documents. A digital reader/scanner will ensure easier access to historical information using a method more compatible with how people conduct research today. Microfilm is a proven long-term medium for storing information. Increasing access to microfilm digitally will ensure the organization's records are available for the future.
Work Plan and Timetable
To prepare for this project, identify microfilm/fiche reader/printer/scanners that meet the performance specifications you believe will serve your audience. Be sure to test each one and evaluate operability, ease of use, service (maintenance) records, service contracts, and warranty information. Remember, grant funds cannot be used for extended service contracts.
The project will begin with the selection of a vendor who can provide the machine you’ve identified through careful research.
1. The organization contracts with vendor to purchase the digital microfilm reader package.
2. The organization purchases the machine, and if necessary the computer, monitor and dedicated printer using specifications provided by microfilm vendor.
3. Microfilm vendor installs the digital microfilm reader, connects it to the computer system and installs all necessary software.
4. Microfilm vendor trains staff and volunteers on how to use the digital microfilm reader
The project should take approximately 30-45 days.
Completing the Application
Before completing the application form, obtain at least three quotes
from qualified vendors
that sell and install the equipment and software, as well as conduct staff and volunteer training under the terms of a contract.
Call the Grants Office for a current list of potential vendors
. This list is not intended to be exclusive; rather, it will give you a place to start. If you select another company provide their name, qualifications and experience.
Putting it all together: Once you have selected a qualified vendor complete the special structured grant application form. For the Brief Project Summary, write a brief description of your organization and a short description of your reasons for selecting the machine. Fill in the name of your vendor on the line provided and the project cost breaking down the cost of the microfilm reader, monitor and printer into separate line items. Include a copy of the selected vendor's quote with your application. Retain in the records you keep on this grant all other bid/quotes.
Keep in mind that if you submit for a Small Grant (‘Fast Track’), the maximum award is $7,000. For microfilm reader/printer/scanner packages that exceed $7,000, a cash match is necessary to complete the project.
This structured grant is solely for purchasing a machine for public access to collections. For digitization projects see digital conversion and access
. Digital microfilm reader/scanners lack the capacity to create archival quality scans and are inefficient at doing mass scanning of microfilmed documents. These machines will not satisfy digitization standards for digitization of negatives, slides or microfilmed collections for digital archives.
After the Project is Complete
After you have installed the equipment, received training, and conducted an evaluation of public satisfaction with the machine, you will be ready to submit your final report to close out the grant. Use the Final Report Form provided by the Grants Office. In describing how the project will have lasting impact for your organization, explain how this improvement will benefit your patrons into the future. Also, please be sure to take photographs related to the project.
Completing your final report is an important part of the project. It provides the Grants Office a means with which to evaluate and report on the success of projects funded through the grants program. The Grants Office will notify you by letter when your project has been closed out.