April 9, 2014

Mellon Foundation Awards $194,000 Grant for Online Portal

Chicago, IL (April 9, 2014) The University of Illinois at Chicago Library (UIC), in connection with the Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC), announced today that it has received a $194,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development and implementation of the Chicago Portal. The grant was awarded to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees on behalf of the Library, which is leading the project with CCC.

The fifteen-month grant will fund the development of CCC’s major first initiative, a freely accessible, online portal to materials documenting the rich history of Chicago. The portal paves the way for CCC to fulfill its vision of connecting and preserving Chicago-focused collections, and increasing public and scholarly interest in and study of the Chicago region’s diverse history and culture.

Mary M. Case, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at UIC, and Chair of the CCC Board of Directors, commented, “The portal will use the power of technology and the research expertise of librarians and archivists to put information about diaries, photographs, letters, and other original materials from those who shaped Chicago’s history into our hands. We are very grateful to The Mellon Foundation for making it possible for us to tangibly connect the past and present and, in this way, promote scholarship and learning.”

A venture that will benefit knowledge-seekers beyond the academic and geographic boundaries of Chicago, the portal will provide students, scholars, researchers, and citizen-historians with unprecedented access to a free database of information held by CCC member institutions. It will provide significant scholarly and educational benefit with local, national, and international impact. “The portal will permit users to discover historical resources in ways that are nearly impossible today—resources that are not meant to be contained, but imparted to the world,” remarked Jaclyn Grahl, Executive Director of the CCC, “and it is just the beginning of this terrific collaboration of Chicago institutions working together to provide first-rate programs and services that will benefit the public in exciting new ways.”  Read full press Release.