Friday, January 30, 2015

Knight News Challenge Award Will Support NYC Digitization Effort

Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library and the Metropolitan New York Library Council are partnering to help preserve New York City’s rich history and cultural heritage. Culture in Transit, a joint project of the three library systems, will deliver digitization equipment and expertise to smaller libraries and community organizations throughout the city in an effort to help neighborhoods define and catalog their histories. 

In addition to digitizing institutional archives, Culture in Transit will help New Yorkers to preserve their own historical memorabilia, which they may then share in local collections and submit to the Digital Public Library of America to be accessible for free online.

“Culture in Transit will democratize the digitization process and preserve valuable artifacts of New York City’s heritage that might otherwise be lost,” said Ivy Marvel, manager of special collections for Brooklyn Public Library

The project will allow the Library to share its expertise with organizations and residents who do not have access to sophisticated digitization technology. Brooklyn Public Library presents cultural heritage artifacts from its own collections and those of partner institutions through the Brooklyn Visual Heritage digital collection portal. The Library also maintains the Brooklyn Collection, a repository of research materials and archival documents including historic Brooklyn maps, photographs, ephemera, prints and the full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Culture in Transit was selected as one of 22 winners of the Knight News Challenge on Libraries. Launched by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in September 2014, the challenge funds library projects that build more knowledgeable communities and encourage innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and education.

"There is a growing demand for libraries to evolve their role and become more dynamic, living platforms, responsive to community needs," said John S. Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for media innovation. "The winners are working to reinvent the ways in which people experience the library, and providing citizens with the tools and information they require to contribute and strengthen our democracy."

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Since 2007, Knight Foundation has reviewed more than 10,000 News Challenge applications and provided nearly $50 million in funding to 133 projects.

In addition to funding, winners receive support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisers to help advance their ideas.

For more, visit and follow #newschallenge on Twitter.

About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website:

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

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