Documentary Heritage Program FAQs
Can an Arrangement & Description grant support work on more than one collection?
Yes, Arrangement & Description projects can focus on one collection or on multiple collections.
Are there a specific archival standards and practices a project needs to follow?
Arrangement & Description projects must follow best practices and archival standards. Depending on the repository's capabilities and needs, that could mean using: the finding aid template DHP makes available, HDI, Archivists Toolkit and Archon, MPLP, MARC, EAD, DACS, etc.
DHP requires no specific standards for Documentation projects, but we do make available several publications on Documentation (specifically #s 67, 69, 73-75, and 79) that outline best practices.
What is a MARC record? Will we need to budget for training, software or equipment to create MARC records?
A MARC (machine-readable) record is a catalog record which is designed to make information about a specific collection accessible online or via a repository's networked catalog. The record should describe the whole collection, not individual items in the collection. The DHP office can supply you with a sample MARC record. MARC records are not difficult to write and do not require special software or equipment. Your project archivist should easily be able to create them.
What eligibility restrictions are applied to CUNYs and SUNYs?
According to the State Education Law 140, CUNYs and SUNYs "may apply for historical records project grants with regard to records other than internal records generated by the institution after July 1, 1948 if it is a component of the SUNY or after July 1, 1979 if it is a component of the CUNY or after the subsequent date on which the institution became a component of such university."
Can I use DHP funds to digitize formats such as photographs or oral history audiotapes?
DHP does not support projects to create digital records in any media. However, documentation and arrangement & description projects that involve existing digital material are eligible for funding.
If organizations are collaborating on a grant project, do they need to send mission statements for all collaborating organizations?
Yes. The grant review panel will need to verify that the proposed project is compatible with the missions of all collaborating organizations.
As yet my organization has not arranged and described any of our collections. What should we do about providing the sample finding aid which the DHP grant guidelines require?
You can submit a sample finding aid created by the Project Archivist you intend to hire. Otherwise, if you have not selected a Project Archivist at the time of application, you will be required to submit a sample finding aid created by your intended Project Archivist to the DHP for review once your application is funded.
Can Arrangement & Description projects include re-housing of records?
Yes. In fact, this is an excellent time to re-house the collections you are processing.
Does DHP fund the arrangement & description of business collections?
It will, but since DHP only funds organizations with not-for-profit status, the collection would have to be in the possession of a not-for-profit repository. Moreover, that repository would have to provide public access to the collection.
Does DHP fund the arrangement & description of "artificial" collections?
An important characteristic of an archival collection is its provenance. Artificial collections do not have provenance. A collection with provenance has a direct line back to the entity (person, organization, business, etc) which created, used and ultimately discarded the records. This connection allows the archivist and the researcher to understand the richness and complexity of the organization (or person) as it has been captured in the course of doing business (or living a life in the case of a personal collection), by those most closely involved. Provenance can never be created after the fact. Although an artificial collection would be eligible for funding, it is less compelling as the focus of a DHP grant application.
At the bottom of page 21 of the Guidelines, it says that projects must be completed by June 30, 2013. Should it read 2015, instead?
Yes, projects should be completed by June 20, 2015.