Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 27, 2005

Whitworth, Regional Institutions Receive NEH Grant
for Continued Development of Digital Archives Project

Whitworth College is part of a consortium of 16 institutions in the Pacific Northwest that has received a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for continued development and expansion of the Northwest Digital Archives database.

"The opportunity to be involved with this Phase II of the Northwest Digital Archives project is very exciting," says Whitworth College Archivist Janet Hauk. "Any researcher with access to the Internet will have information about Whitworth's rich historical and archival resources at his or her fingertips. Usage of these materials has grown through our involvement in NWDA Phase I, and now with the expansion of the database, it will continue to increase."

In the searchable database, digitized guides are encoded in a standard format and are available online at nwda.wsulibs.wsu.edu. The guides allow users to learn what archival or historical resources exist at each institution and how to access the materials at the host site.

The two-year project, to begin July 1, 2005, will build on the strong foundation established in 2002 when the NEH awarded an initial $350,000 grant to the Oregon State University Libraries to establish the digital-archives consortium. The Northwest Digital Archives is housed at Washington State University.

The NEH funding will support the addition of at least five new institutions to the consortium and a minimum of 1,600 finding aids to the NWDA database. The five new participating institutions include the Idaho State Historical Society, the City of Portland Archives, Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Gonzaga University and the Seattle Museum of History and Industry.

In addition to Whitworth, continuing institutions in the consortium include the Montana Historical Society, the University of Montana, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington, Washington State Archives, and Washington State University.

The 16 institutions house a total of 2,385 collections covering such topics as the region's political history and the Northwest's resource-based economy, including forestry, agriculture, fishing and mining. Whitworth's unique contribution to the digital archives is its collection detailing the history of Protestantism in the Pacific Northwest.

Contacts:

Janet Hauck, Whitworth Archivist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4751 or jhauk@whitworth.edu.

Hans Bynagle, director of Harriet Cheney Cowles Memorial Library, Whitworth College, (509) 777- 4482 or hbynagle@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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