R.I. Foundation awards $16K to promote access to historical records

HERMAN ROSE, pictured above second from left, with Youth in Action participants, created the ADDD fund to increase public access to information through the preservation and promotion of print, digital and other formats of historical material. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION/STEW MILNE
HERMAN ROSE, pictured above second from left, with Youth in Action participants, created the ADDD fund to increase public access to information through the preservation and promotion of print, digital and other formats of historical material. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION/STEW MILNE

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Foundation awarded nine grants, over $16,000, to nonprofits to promote public access to historical records, the R.I. Foundation announced in a press release on June 9. The funds were made available through the Archive, Document, Display and Disseminate Fund.

“By providing the resources to bolster libraries and other civic, cultural and literacy-focused organizations, we can enlarge their position as community centers that encourage dialogue around important topics,” said philanthropist Herman Rose, who created the ADDD fund in 1986.

The largest grants allocated this year were for the Providence Athenaeum to create a new digital archive for its fine arts collection and the Southside Community Land Trust to promote its farm and garden programs and health education, each receiving $2,800.

“The digital archive will integrate research essays and high-resolution digital images for as many as 100 pieces in our collection,” said Matt Burriesci, executive director of the Providence Athenaeum. “It will make the collection much more accessible to students, artists, scholars and the general public.”

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Last year the fund provided $28,000 to 15 organizations. According to the press release, the ADDD fund has awarded nearly $400,000 since its inception in 1986.

Rhode Island Foundation and ADDD 2017 grants:

  • Providence Athenaeum – $2,800 to create a digital archive of its fine arts collection to increase public access to historic artwork and encourage scholarly research.
  • Southside Community Land Trust– $2,800 to promote its farm and garden plots, children and youth programs, health education and where Central Falls and Pawtucket residents can find affordable, healthy food.
  • Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island – $1,800 to convert its oral history project, “My Story, Our Community,” into a traveling exhibit that will be staged in every Rhode Island city and town.
  • Stages of Freedom – $1,799 to support the printing of 10,000 copies of “On the Rhode to Freedom: Black Historic Sites in Rhode Island,” a self-guided, statewide tour of upwards of 55 historic sites related to the state’s African-American history, people and events.
  • South Kingstown Land Trust – $1,750 to create informational kiosks at the foot of the Biscuit City Trail in Kingston, the DuVal Hiking Trail in Perryville, the Thewlis Woods Trail in Wakefield, the Yawgoo Pond Trail in West Kingston and the Weeden Farm Trail in Matunuck.
  • Providence Preservation Society – $1,700 to create a companion website to supplement the reprinting of its popular 2003 publication, “PPS Guide to Providence Architecture.”
  • Bristol Historical & Preservation Society – $1,500 to continue cataloging its early collections, including original documentation of the Africa-to-America slave trade. The work includes digitizing photos and documents to make the material accessible online.
  • Center for Southeast Asians – $1,473 to support the publication of “Through the Bamboo Forest: Stories of Southeast Asian Refugees in America,” which will document the experience of Rhode Island’s Southeast Asian refugee community.
  • Greenville Public Library – $525 to purchase equipment that will make it easier for patrons to access the digitized archives of the former Smithfield Observer newspaper and the Mary Mowry Collection.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.

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