Learn more about the Open Your Hidden Collections program, including funded projects, criteria, timeline, the screening group, and more.

HKS Political Buttons Collection

2015 Proposals Funded

Twenty-two projects have been selected to receive full or partial funding as part of Harvard Library’s Open Your Hidden Collections program. The library was able to allocate additional funding beyond the original amount of $500,000. The total funding made available to support the proposals selected is $926,000. All funding for Open Your Hidden Collections comes from the Arcadia Fund.

  • Analyze, Digitize, Make Accessible Trial Seven of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The Harvard Law School Library would like to analyze, describe and make online accessible the digitized document record of Trial 7 of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials to supplement the materials from Trials 1 through 4 already on its website at http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu. Trial 7 (The Hostages Trial) covers Nazi war crimes committed in the Balkans against Yugoslav, Greek and Albanian civilians and comprises a core collection of 9,000 pages of trial exhibits and 13,500 pages of supporting documents.
  • Art Meets Science: Archives of The Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants. The Glass Flowers have enchanted museum visitors, inspired artists, and intrigued scholars since they were first exhibited. A completely renovated Glass Flowers gallery will open in May 2016. With the consequent increase in activity for a collection that is already heavily used, digital access to archival images and correspondence will be invaluable to conservators, staff members, the public, and the international community of scholars who study the models for their scientific and artistic value.
  • Art of the Maya and Aztec People: Digitizing Tozzer Library’s Mesoamerican Codices. Tozzer Library would like to create improved opportunities for access and discovery of its collection of rare Mesoamerican codices and codex facsimiles. This collection includes 21 vibrant Maya, Aztec, and Mixtec codex facsimiles along with two original codices dating from just after the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
  • Catching the Wave II: Photographs of the Women’s Movement & MPLP Photograph Cataloging. The Schlesinger Library proposes to catalog and digitize approximately 1,450 images documenting the modern women's movement. The images come from the collections of important Second Wave feminist organizations and will provide students, researchers and scholars with an unprecedented visual record of one of the twentieth century's most important social movements.
  • Continuing to Reveal the Public School Reports Collection. Building on the work from Hidden Collections FY2015, the Library proposes to continue to catalog the holdings from the Public School Reports Collection. The focus will be cataloging remaining New England states and beginning to catalog the holdings from the Mid-Atlantic states. This would expose the collection to researchers using HOLLIS and WorldCat as discovery tools. With a project cataloger already in place, the work could get underway immediately at the start of FY2016.
  • Describing and Digitizing Primary Materials of the Pluralism Project. The Andover-Harvard Theological Library would like to process and selectively digitize 35 boxes of archival materials and around 700 additional primary materials of various types collected by researchers involved in the ongoing Pluralism Project at Harvard. This will allow Pluralism Project researchers to link to primary sources in their online publications and enable faculty and students to access primary materials online in the classroom and in personal research.
  • Digitization of Ukrainian political ephemera (1991–2014). The Ukrainian Research Institute and Widener Library would like to create access through digitization to the collection of Ukrainian political ephemera, including presidential and parliamentary election ephemera from 1991 until 2014, as well as other political ephemera of that period. The collection consists of approximately 7,000 items.
  • Discovering the Anarchist Princess: Letters to Zoia Sergeevna Obolenskaia and Her Descendants. The Davis Center Collection at the Fung Library proposes to process and make fully available a family archive of letters centered on Princess Zoia Sergeevna Obolenskaia, known for a nineteenth-century scandal in Russian high society, and whose biography has been proposed as the basis for Tolstoy's creation of his fictional heroine Anna Karenina. Transcription and translation of some letters and an online exhibit will make the materials available to undergraduates and non-specialists.
  • “Do what you can, with what you’ve got”: Political cartoons in the T. Roosevelt Collection. The Theodore Roosevelt Collection proposes to catalog and digitize 2,200 fragile political cartoons, which are at present entirely undiscoverable and inaccessible to the hundreds of researchers who use the Roosevelt Collection each year.
  • Exposing 20th Century Aerial Photographs of Greater Boston, 1952-2002. The Frances Loeb Library, using the knowledge gained from its 2014-2015 Hidden Collections funded pilot project, will digitize and catalog an additional 10,000 aerial photographs from the Aerial Photos International, Inc. Collection. Documenting Greater Boston and Cambridge from 1952-2002, these images serve as a unique and valuable record for cross-disciplinary teaching and research across Harvard's campus and beyond.
  • Improving access to historical photographic views of Harvard, 1853-1990. To improve access to one of its most important photograph collections, the Harvard University Archives seeks funding to catalog, re-house and digitize 6000 photographic prints of views of Harvard and Cambridge dating from the mid-19th through the 20th centuries. The project will experiment with a new workflow producing MARC records and EAD finding aids accessible in Harvard Library discovery systems and beyond, with links to images created using the Archives' imaging workstation.
  • Making the Slavic poster collection accessible via digitzation. The Slavic division will create access to the virtually hidden Widener library collection of Slavic posters through digitization combined with additional cataloging. The collection contains around 700 posters from different Slavic countries in subjects ranging from politics to sports and cultural events of the 20th and 21st century.
  • Maximizing Microbiology: Molecular Genetics, Cancer, and Virology, 1936-2000. The Center for the History of Medicine seeks to open four manuscript collections central to understanding and contextualizing the evolution of molecular genetics in the United States, specifically: factors affecting the fidelity of the genetic code; the viral etiology of cancer; and bacterial physiology. Comprised of approximately eighty-five cubic feet, the records include the research of three Harvard Medical School faculty and offer deep insight in to the fields of genetics, cancer research, and virology.
  • Opening Visual catalogs of Japanese early modern Art and Design. Harvard-Yenching Library holds a fair number of Japanese visual catalog books mostly produced in the 19th century in color wood block prints. While they are cataloged in AACR2, there is no information visually available. The library would like to propose to digitize a group of these visually significant books, magazines, and hand drawings in 51 titles in 88 volumes, and make them publicly accessible.
  • Preserving Legal Works of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. HLSL would like to conserve, digitize, and upgrade the cataloging of its collection of Russian legal works published between 1918 and 1922 when the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (R.S.F.S.R.) was a sovereign state. This turbulent period following the Russian Revolution but before the founding of the U.S.S.R. is often buried within the history of the Soviet Union and legal material from that period is rare and not widely accessible.
  • Revealing Renaissance Art: Mass Digitization of the Berenson Library Photo Archive. The Berenson Library proposes to digitize and make accessible 115,000 images of Renaissance Italian paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture, and manuscript illuminations, along with the textual documentation found on their reverse side. These images are reproductions of original prints held by the photograph archive that were made by the Getty Research Institute, and are contained on 451 reels of negative film that will be scanned.
  • Revealing Modern Massachusetts: Cataloging Harvard Map Collection Massachusetts holdings. Current on-line cataloging of the Map Collection has a donut hole. We have many HOLLIS records for the old maps, and many for the new maps but the in-between (1900-1980) are underrepresented in HOLLIS. This is detrimental to our patrons and gives a very misleading view of the strengths of the collection.
  • Re-Verb: Creating a Finding Aid for the Packard Collection of Early Recorded Sound. The Woodberry Poetry Room is requesting funds: 1. to create a comprehensive Finding Aid for the currently hidden collection of pioneering recordings made by Prof. Frederick C. Packard, Jr., at Harvard University and 2. to digitize a select number of these unique and at-risk recordings (including instantaneous discs, test pressings, shellac and lacquer discs) to ensure their survival and future access.
  • Uncovering the Records of the Harvard Library, 1800-1950: a Widener Centennial Project. In this banner year of Widener Library's 100th anniversary, the Harvard University Archives seeks funding for a nine-month project to analyze, catalog, and rehouse 150 years of Harvard Library records comprising 275 feet and accessible only through original paper shelf lists created in the early 20th century. To meet the needs of today's researchers, the project will create MARC records and EAD finding aids discoverable in Harvard Library systems and web search engines.
  • Watching legal history: Digitization and enhanced description of A/V materials. This project will digitize and make accessible the most at-risk portions of our Audio-Video collection. It will also provide better description of digitized materials, which have not been previously viewable.
  • A Wayback Machine to Popular Culture: making our sheet music available for research. This one-year project proposes to identify all known sheet music in the Harvard Library and to survey faculty and staff for the best ways realistically to make this material accessible to the widest range of constituents. A companion component will be to catalog and partially digitize approximately 2500 pieces as a way to gather metrics for the future processing of the entire collection.
  • The Youngest of the Arts: The Industrial Film Collection. Baker Library would like to create access to and preserve a unique collection of industrial film (1,500 films) by enhancing the collection description, rehousing all the film, and reformatting the most at-risk film. This project will ensure the collection is available through Harvard Library catalogs so researchers can easily discover the collection, that the individual films are in archival, preservationally sound storage, and that the earliest, and most at risk films, are reformatted.

A Note from Sarah Thomas

Dear colleagues,

One of the objectives of the Harvard Library is to enable effective access to the world of knowledge and data through intuitive discovery, networks of expertise, and global collaborations. An important part of this is making discoverable the valuable resources in collections that are currently inaccessible to our patrons.  

Due to the success of the first call for proposals to uncover hidden collections last year and the successful implementation of the nineteen projects that received funding, we have decided to put out another call for proposals to be awarded funding effective July 1, 2015. . . .

Screening Group

A seven-person screening group (Karen Beck, Alison Donnelly, Franziska Frey, Tom Hyry, Kathryn Jacob, Lidia Uziel, and Scott Wicks) will preview all applications for eligibility. The eligible proposals will again be made available online for the community’s comments and evaluations. These assessments will be advisory rather than determinative.The screening group, after reviewing the proposals and the evaluations, will prepare a rank ordered list of recommended proposals for consideration by the Vice President for the Harvard Library and the Library Leadership Team. They will then decide which proposals to fund.  

Drafting Your Proposal

Before drafting your proposal, please review the guidelines.