We have resumed some on-campus services, including book pickup, virtual consultations, and fulfilling scanning/digitization requests. Many library materials are available online, but our buildings remain closed until further notice.

Innovation Grants

Funding innovative faculty-librarian partnership projects that improve the experience of using library resources.


The S.T. Lee Innovation Grants fund creative partnerships between Harvard faculty and Harvard Library staff that improve access to information and the experience of using library resources at Harvard University.

The grants are funded by Dr. Seng T. Lee, a philanthropist and longtime been a supporter of libraries and education.

In the past he has funded libraries in Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dr. Lee’s interest in improving the experience of using library resources aligns with the Harvard Library’s expanding emphasis on user-focused services.

In addition to support for innovative projects in the Harvard Library, the gift will also make possible the upcoming S.T. Lee Lecture on Leadership and Innovation in Libraries.

How to Apply

Applications for Fiscal Year 2020 have closed. Awards will be announced in early July - stay tuned!

Previous Winners

From the 19 outstanding applications submitted for the 2018 grants, the selection committee funded six projects that showcase the breadth of scholarly innovation taking place across the University.

Beyond the Bone Box

Inspired by Harvard Medical School’s retired bone box program, which enabled medical students to borrow sets of human bones for home study, and developed in partnership with Harvard faculty, curators, archivists, and librarians, this project will develop three circulating resources that contain 3D-printed copies of Warren Anatomical Museum specimens highly contextualized by surrogates of special collections materials. Through this project, the Center seeks to democratize access to unique and sensitive collections through quality fungible surrogates and engender new forms of engagement with Harvard’s special collections across its library system.

Professor Anne Harrington, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science
Dominic Hall, Curator, Warren Anatomical Museum, HMS

Building Sustainable Digital Scholarship Support at Harvard

This project focuses on a series of initiatives designed to improve support for Digital Scholarship at Harvard, by providing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to acquire digital skills and support their efforts to apply them in research and curricular contexts. In particular, the project supports the expansion of the Library’s role in Digital Scholarship through the development of a sustainable, scalable training program in digital methods for its staff.

Professor Gabriel Pizzorno, Preceptor on History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Martin Schreiner, Director of Maps, Media, Data & Government Information, Lamont Library

Digital Giza

Harvard Library and The Giza Project will develop software and workflows to improve the coordinated use of batch media depositing infrastructure of Harvard Library Digital Repository Service (DRS) and The Museum System (TMS) collections management software. This project will test the software and refine workflows by depositing a large batch of media from the Giza Project’s archive (the largest collection of primary Giza media ever assembled) and serving media from DRS.

Professor Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology & Director, Harvard Semitic Museum
Bill Comstock, Head of Imaging Services, Harvard Library

GeoBlacklight at the Harvard Map Collection

This project will allow the Geospatial Working Group  to build an intuitive and advanced discovery system to enable effective access to a large portion of the Harvard Map Collection. This project will implement an innovative interface for discovery of some of our most useful but underutilized materials: large-scale, detailed topographic map sets made up of many individual sheets. The goal is to replace the blurry index map currently used to identify the map sheet covering a research area with a modern viewer and improve the discovery process for our students and faculty, particularly those working in remote areas, and enable easier access to these valuable items.

Professor Jason Ur, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director, Center for Geographic Analysis
Bonnie Burns, Head, Geospatial Resources, Harvard Map Collection

#metoo Digital Media Collection

The Schlesinger Library, in collaboration with Harvard faculty drawn from five schools (RIAS, FAS, HBS, HLS, and HSPH) will embark on a large-scale project to comprehensively document the #metoo movement and the accompanying redefinitions of gender-based harassment and sex in the workplace. Through the #metoo Digital Media Collection, Schlesinger Library will provide enduring scholarly access to content including social media conversations, press stories, and multimedia declarations and rebuttals: resources which are now pervasive in our collective consciousness and social media feeds, yet will prove acutely vulnerable in the long term, as proprietary platforms, individual user accounts, and the ever-changing landscape of the web continually transform.

Professor Jane Kamensky, Professor of History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences & Director, Schlesinger Library
Amanda Strauss, Manager, Special Projects and Digital Services, Schlesinger Library
Pablo Morales Henry, Senior Developer and Archivist for Born-Digital Materials, Schlesinger Library
Jen Weintraub, Digital Archivist/Librarian, Schlesinger Library

Text and Data Mining in Legal Principle and Scholarly Practice

This project seeks to develop legal and practical guidelines for the support of new research methods that involve Text and Data Mining (TDM). The wealth of full-text online corpora and research tools provides researchers the opportunity to analyze large sets of data, but they also entail new challenges having to do with the use and sharing, both of these data, and of the tools researchers sometimes develop to study them. Our aim is to develop a package of guidelines that will serve universities, libraries, and researchers, not only at Harvard but at other academic institutions as well. In addition, we plan to complete the development of a concept search engine for large corpora of unstructured text that exemplify these principles.

Professor Stephen Osadetz, Associate Professor of English
Kyle Courtney, Copyright Advisor, Harvard Library