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Getty Images Announces Inaugural Grant Recipients To Preserve HBCU Visual History

Getty Images Announces Inaugural Grant Recipients To Preserve HBCU Visual History

They’ll be digitizing up to 200,000 photos!

Getty Images recently announced the inaugural grant recipients that they will be working with to preserve HBCU visual history, Black Enterprise reports. 

Getty Images is the go-to marketplace for visual content around the globe. Recently, they announced the recipients of their grant in partnership with Stand Together, a community that utilizes their diverse network to tackle some of America’s biggest issues. The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities is an extension of the company’s commitment to anti-racism, inclusion and dismantling discrimination by archiving unseen historical content and creating revenue streams for institutions working to create a more equitable and inclusive society. 

This year’s $500,000 grant will go towards funding the digitization of up to 200,000 archival photos from Claflin University, Jackson State University, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and Prairie View A&M University. The photos will help preserve the photographic history of HBCUs, Getty working alongside archivists at each HBCU and Adnet Global, a post-production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration, and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries. The archival photos will be launched on Getty's website under the “Historically Black Colleges & Universities Collection,” with thousands of images being uploaded throughout 2022. 

“The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs were created to honor the vast history of HBCUs and their contribution to American history. We are committed to preserving the visual narrative of all cultures and communities to ensure these vital artifacts are accessible to storytellers around the world,” said Cassandra Illidge, VP of Partnerships at Getty Images. 

Jackson State University President Thomas K. Hudson said JSU was honored to be a grant recipient.

“Preserving the rich culture and heritage of the African diaspora found at HBCUs is an essential step in ensuring that the stories of our ancestors are accessible to share for generations to come. Thank you to Getty Images, the Getty family and Stand Together for providing this generous support,” said Hudson. 

Claflin University President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack echoed those sentiments, saying, “This partnership will help Claflin preserve its illustrious history in photographs documenting the University’s emergence as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. These images provide compelling visual narratives of how Claflin’s dedicated and visionary administrators, distinguished faculty and staff, and high-achieving scholars made indelible contributions to Orangeburg, the state of South Carolina, and the world.” 

Grant applications were judged by a panel that included Dr. Deborah Willis, Academic Director, Professor & Chair at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at the NAACP, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, Renata Cherlise, founder of Black Archives, Raina Kelley, VP and Editor in Chief at The Undefeated, and Mercedes Cooper, VP of Public Programming at ARRAY. 

Ruth J. Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M called the grant “timely and important to the preservation of the unique history of [Prairie View’s] 145-year-old university.”

Johnson O. Akinleye, Chancellor of NCCU also spoke about the importance of the grant for his university which has a vault of images spanning 111 years. 

“A strategic partnership with the world’s largest visual storytelling and preservation company is one that will strengthen and elevate the importance of digitizing our important photographic collections that document the history of NCCU and other HBCUs that are institutional gems to our nation. The collaboration also trains the next generation of librarians, archivists and public historians who will work with these priceless collections,” said Akinleye.  

Throughout the years, Getty has contributed over $1.8 million to photographers and videographers across the globe through its various grant programs. As a part of the recent HBCU grant, the universities will retain all of their photo copyrights and the revenue generated from the images will be funneled back into various programs. 50 percent of the revenue will go towards grant recipients, 30 percent will be given to scholarship programs for students at HBCUs, and 20 percent will help continue the work of the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs annually. 

Photo Courtesy of Corbis/Getty Images