If you read this blog any time in the last two years, you were either part of the Maine Community Heritage Project (MCHP), someone interested in MCHP, or someone who stumbled upon us online and said, “Hey, cool blog about communities doing history stuff!” (Or something like that.)
Well, we’re still a cool history blog — albeit with a slightly refreshed look (just like a number of pages in Maine Memory itself). And we’ll still be about the MCHP once a handful of new communities take off later this spring. But we’re about to be so much more.
Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which came to us last fall, Maine Historical Society has been able to expand Maine Memory Network’s community outreach considerably. Instead of offering just eight intensive MCHP project grants a year for two years, and other organizations on a piecemeal basis, we’ll now be able to work with up to 25 organizations and communities a year over the next three years in a variety of flexible ways. If you can’t stand the suspense, go read in detail about the new Community Mobilization Grants right now! Applications for the first cycle are due April 1!
Oh, are you still here? Great. Allow me to share a bit more with you. Local teams are invited to identify historical collections, stories, or projects they want to share and apply for support in the following categories:
Digitization Grants of up to $750 to organizations or community teams to digitize, catalog, and manage their collections online. In the process, participants develop technical skills, identify resources and partners in the community, and establish a meaningful presence online (including 25+ items).
Online Exhibit Grants of up to $1,250 to organizations or community teams to share stories and topics from their community’s history online. These might range from the history of a particular business or industry, to the community’s experience during a national event, or any other topic that illuminates an important aspect of the community. In the process, participants develop technical, project planning, and collaboration skills, deepen local partnerships, and create a substantial, illustrated online exhibit.
Maine Community Heritage Project Grants of up to $3,000 to community teams to mobilize around the exploration, gathering, and sharing of their local history. For nearly a year, representatives from local schools, libraries, and historical organizations will work closely with MHS staff to build substantial websites within MMN dedicated to the history of their communities. Teams will digitize collections (up to 150 items), create online exhibits, write a narrative history of their community, host community events, and build that website. Meanwhile, they’ll be sharing resources, developing skills, and deepening local partnerships.
And loads of training and support comes with all of it. Not to worry if you can’t make the first application cycle. There’s another one coming September 1. And then four more after that in 2012 and 2013. (We’ll provide plenty of warning before they come around.)
And if you don’t want or need a grant–yeah, there are actually organizations out there who fit this bill–and you are motivated to work on your own schedule, you can always digitize collections in Maine Memory as a Contributing Partner at any time. Or build an online exhibit. Or create an organizational or community-based website. Because hey–it’s free! Just start at Share YOUR Local History and go from there. Contact us with any questions.
Meanwhile, stay tuned to this spot throughout the year. Because great things are bound to come from all this cool history stuff.