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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant Awarded to Smith College

We are pleased to announce that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Smith College a grant to support academic art museum and library collaborations for use by the Smith College Libraries and Museum of Art.

The grant was developed by Susan Fliss, Dean of Libraries, and Jessica Nicoll, Director and Chief Curator of the SCMA, in close collaboration with Samantha Earp, Vice President for Information Technology. The 18-month planning grant of $165,000 will be used to develop a collaborative, college-wide strategy to promote preservation, discovery and use of our campus cultural collections. This process will identify the parameters that will inform the design of a new digital asset management ecosystem, including technological infrastructure, shared practices, staffing, user needs, and curricular applications. Elisa Lanzi (Libraries), Deborah Diemente (SCMA) and Charlene Shang Miller (SCMA) are the grant project co-leads.

The strategic outcomes include: creating clearer research pathways for students and faculty; providing coordinated support for college-wide creation and use of digital learning objects; and ensuring digital preservation of our unique collections and digital scholarship. Over the course of the grant, with the assistance of a dedicated project manager, good counsel from an information integration architecture consultant, and the contributions of a cadre of peer higher education information experts, we expect to identify shared platforms that would enable us to ensure resources are preserved and discoverable so that faculty and students are able to make creative use of our assets. In addition, through this pilot grant period, we expect to identify ways in which library, museum and information technology positions will need to evolve in order to build a collaborative and sustainable team that will support the needs of students and faculty in the coming decades.