December 19, 2013 (San Diego) — The San Diego Museum of Man has been selected by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to receive a $240,500 three-year grant to catalog more than 30,000 archival records and photographs which were previously available only to a few academic researchers.

The grant was made in support of Cataloging Hidden Collections: San Diego Museum of Man’s Archaeology, Archival and Photographic Collections, a program to provide academic researchers and Native American scholars easier access to “hidden artifacts.”

By cataloging 32,000 archaeology, archival, and photographic San Diego-related records collected between the 1900s and the 1990s, San Diego Museum of Man, in collaboration with local archaeological centers, will provide unprecedented access to a rich archive of materials. The three-year project will enhance scholarship and be a replicable nationwide data-sharing model.

“What’s really exciting about it is that scholars who are working in this area have known for a long time that the Museum has these materials, but they’ve never really been available to the Native American community,” said Rex Garniewicz, the Museum’s deputy director.

“This grant allows us to reach out to the Native American community and share information that they may not have or even be aware of. They’re using it for education, to learn about archaeological sites on their lands, to create their own exhibits, to bridge the inter-generational divide, and to bring the academic and Native American researchers closer together.”

“The images we have been digitizing show people doing traditional crafts, such as basket-making, so they also enable the maintenance of native traditions.”

The grant was made as part of CLIR’s Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives initiative, which is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This is the second Hidden Collections grant received by the San Diego Museum of Man in support of the program. The first grant of $115,200 for 2012–2014 covered personnel to catalogue and make digitally available 25,000 images from Southern California and Baja California. Those images can be seen at http://museumofman.org/bpcommons.

CLIR (http://www.clir.org) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. It aspires to transform the information landscape to support the advancement of knowledge and promotes forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good.

The San Diego Museum of Man (http://museumofman.org) is reinventing itself as a 21st-Century museum with exciting new exhibits that strengthen its role in the community. Its world-class collections and iconic building in the heart of Balboa Park create a perfect place to learn about each other, reflect on our place in the world, and build a better community. The Museum will celebrate its 100th year in 2015.

Contact: Grant Barrett (619) 239-2001 x43, gbarrett@museumofman.org.


Below: “California Building from bridge,” taken by Frederick W. Kelsey on December 12th, 1914. The image was made available via the first CLIR grant. Hi-res version.