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KHS to Lead National Digital Research Project for Historical Network

Kentucky Historical Society via Facebook

The Kentucky Historical Society is leading a team of national organizations to create an online network of historical people for public and scholarly use.

The National Historical Records and Publications Commission and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have granted $90,000 dollars to the Nineteenth Century Digital Cooperative. The cooperative brings together three historical editing projects to share data and explore ways to consolidate the nineteenth-century figures documented in their archives into one database. The grant will be used to fund a planning and feasibility study for the database.

The cooperative’s initial members include the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition at the Kentucky Historical Society, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Frederick Douglass Papers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Patrick Lewis is the project director of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky. He said if the project is awarded implementation funding in 2019 then the public will likely see the network up in four years. He said the network would allow editors to produce, annotate and digitally publish historical documents more quickly.

“We’ve worked pretty closely with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln,” Lewis said. “They’ve always been a really close partner with us. And then the Frederick Douglass Papers are topically relevant and overlap with what we’re doing. This is all nineteenth century Civil War and slavery topics.”

The grant is part of a joint Digital Edition Publishing Cooperatives program launched by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the NHPRC (part of the National Archives) to fund ways to share digital resources and build new online publishing infrastructure.


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