Wayne State University Libraries awarded $161,747 grant to share diverse Michigan history

May 1, 2017

The Wayne State University Libraries were one of four institutions recently selected by the Library of Michigan to receive a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Collaborative Library Services grant. The $161,747 award will allow the libraries to create “Discovering Michigan History,” a digital portal for sharing cultural content from Michigan libraries, archives and museums via digital platforms to the public, educators and the Digital Public Library of America. Wayne State will collaborate with LGBT Detroit, the Arab American National Museum and the Burton Collection at the Detroit Public Library to share content.

“This grant will allow us to make Michigan’s history easier to discover, and help underserved communities tell their stories through photographs, oral histories and text,” said Paul Gallagher, principal investigator and assistant dean at the Wayne State University Libraries. “We aim to develop a new home to find materials related to Michigan’s history, as well as promote educational adoption. Most importantly, we want to help smaller institutions tell their stories in ways previously beyond their means.”

“Discovering Michigan History” will expand Michigan’s digital collections by serving as a centralized digital state portal that will make Michigan’s cultural materials more discoverable online. Educators will also be able to access curricular materials that will be embedded within the collections.

“The Wayne State Libraries are thrilled to collaborate with our Detroit partners to share a side of Michigan history that has been traditionally underrepresented,” said Sandra Yee, dean of the Wayne State University Libraries. “‘Discovering Michigan History’ will not only be of interest to the public, but also Michigan teachers and more than 1,000 Michigan libraries that hold cultural materials in non-digital formats.”

The Library of Michigan LSTA Collaborative Library Services’ multi-year grant program provides Michigan public, academic and school libraries with the opportunity to develop innovative programs or services with the potential to develop into sustainable regional or statewide programs that can benefit a broad range of libraries. 

The Library of Michigan promotes, advocates and consistently works to achieve the highest level of library service to the state and its government, libraries and residents. By meeting the information needs of the legislature, state government and Michigan residents and by contributing to the advancement of library service throughout the state, the Library of Michigan continues to be an invaluable part of Michigan's landscape.        

The Wayne State University Library System consists of the university's five libraries: The David Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Purdy/Kresge Library, the Shiffman Medical Library, the Arthur Neef Law Library and the Reuther Library as well as the School of Library and Information Science.

Wayne State University is a premier institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.