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Funded Projects Query Form
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Organization name: American Foundation for the Blind
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PW-258999-18

American Foundation for the Blind Inc. (New York, NY 10121-0101)
Helen J. Selsdon (Project Director: July 2017 to present)
Digitization and Metadata Creation for the Helen Keller Archive Press Clippings and Scrapbooks

The digitization of scrapbooks and news clippings, totaling 34,000 digital images, from the personal papers of Helen Keller, completing the comprehensive digitization and free online access of Keller’s archive, including for users with visual and hearing disabilities.

In 2015, the American Foundation for the Blind received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to digitize a large segment of Helen Keller’s archive and to create an online collection that is free of charge and fully accessible to blind, deaf, deafblind, sighted, and hearing audiences alike. The site currently includes over 72,000 images, and by the end of 2017 will include over 160,000. Because of limitations in funding, the press clippings and scrapbooks were omitted from the 2015 project. AFB now seeks to digitize and disseminate these remaining materials. Approximately 34,000 digital images will be created during this phase of the project. These are the most fragile and difficult items to handle and have been closed to researchers and the public. Details of Keller’s life that are undocumented in other parts of the archive can be found here. The collection is an untapped resource for women’s history, American culture, and Disability Studies in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Division:
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$295,000 (approved)
$295,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2018 – 10/31/2021


PW-226844-15

American Foundation for the Blind Inc. (New York, NY 10121-0101)
Helen J. Selsdon (Project Director: July 2014 to April 2018)
Digitization of the Helen Keller Archival Collection

The digitization of the Helen Keller papers, comprising 80,000 items (150,000 page images), enabling free online access to the collection.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) seeks funding to digitize the Helen Keller Archival Collection comprising over 80,000 items bequeathed to AFB by Keller upon her death in 1968. It is the single largest repository of materials by and about Helen Keller in the world and includes correspondence, speeches, press clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, architectural drawings, and artifacts that span from the late 19th century to the mid-20th. The archive includes materials from or by nine U.S. presidents, as well as leading figures such as Mark Twain, Pearl S. Buck, Margaret Sanger and Albert Einstein. It also contains voluminous correspondence from men, women, and children, sighted and non-sighted, who corresponded with Keller from around the globe and whose stories have never been told. It is an extraordinary source of information on 19th and 20th century American social, political, and cultural history, as well as the history of disability and feminism.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Division:
Preservation and Access

Totals (outright + matching):
$337,506 (approved)
$337,506 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 12/31/2017