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There’s a massive $500,000 grant to preserve HBCU’s archives

In an unprecedented effort to preserve the visual archives of HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), Getty Images has announced a new grant program in partnership with Stand Together.

All HBCUs will be eligible to apply for the $500,000 grant that will go towards two photographic archives. These funds should support the digitization of up to 100,000 HBCU archives per grant recipient.

getty images archive grant
(Original Caption) Washington, DC: Photo shows an exterior view of Founders Library (campus landmark). Howard University, Washington, DC. Undated photograph.

The Getty Images archive grant

Black history is American history. While some of that history is known, too much is still hidden. Our HBCUs hold precious and treasured experiences, stories, images, and artifacts. We are excited to participate in this important initiative to preserve and strengthen the ability to amplify our collective story. 

Grant judge, Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, NAACP

In addition, the visual assets will be consolidated in the “HBCU Photo Collection.”

This collection will be available for licensing on the world’s largest privately-owned archive.

getty images archive grant
Portrait of African American painter Aaron Douglas (1899 – 1979), long-time professor at Fisk University, and a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance, painting at his easel, Tennessee, ca.1970s. (Photo by Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)

The collection will be channeling all royalties back still into the larger project. 50 percent will go to grant recipients, 30 percent will go to scholarship funds for HBCU students. And then 20 percent will go back to the grant initiative to fund the following year. 

Making Black history accessible through the HBCU grant

Outside of private licensing, the collection will be freely accessible for non-commercial use. Through this accessibility initiative, Getty Images aims to increase visibility of Black history and storytellers. This project is in tandem with “Getty Images Black History and Culture Collection,” set to launch later this year. 

hbcu grant
Students of historically black college Morgan State hold mass meeting to protest cuts in student budget made by state’s governor, Annapolis, Maryland, March 22, 1947. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

Collective and individual memories are the foundation of these photographs highlighting the classrooms, student activities on campus, scientific explorations, art practices, and the making of portraits from college presidents to teachers and visitors to the campuses.  The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is an essential part of the ongoing documentation and preservation of Black images at HBCUs.

Grant judge, Dr. Deborah Willis, Academic Director, Professor & Chair, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Submissions to the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs will be judged by a panel of industry-leading professionals.

The board this year will include Dr. Deborah Willis, Chair of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at NAACP, and also Mercedes Cooper, Vice President at Array Film Collective, amongst others. 

hbcu archives
MOREHOUSE COLLEGE, BLACK UNIVERSITY IN ATLANTA (Photo by John van Hasselt/Sygma via Getty Images)

Promoting accessibility and interest in history through archival preservation

Stand Together is dedicated to philanthropic work around criminal justice, K-12 education, poverty, and addiction. Heal America, another organization involved in this effort, is a group that seeks to bring tools and resources to impoverished communities. 

Stand Together and Getty Images intend for this program to support and uplift talented Black students at HBCUs.

It is a reflection of both organizations’ commitment to anti-racism and the visibility of Black history in America, through the promotion of images that have yet to be made available for private licensing. Not only does the grant seek to increase the visibility of HBCU’s archives, but also to create revenue streams to provide fiscal support.