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Grand Rapids Public Library awarded grant to archive online historical content

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As part of a nationwide search for deserving cities, the Grand Rapids Public Library has received a $25,000 grant that will help create a digital archive of online news and content that documents the history of Grand Rapids in the 21st Century. The library is one out of 28  in the country chosen for the “Community Webs” project out of a large pool of potential cities. 

Julie Tabberer is the head of the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Department. She says, while the average span of web content is 90 days, the grant will help preserve current digital accounts of Grand Rapids and ensure those materials are accessible for use in the future.  

“We want to preserve the history of community that is happening online even beyond newspapers and media stories," Tabberer said. "And so much of that story is happening online."

The grant is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Tabberer says while the competition was strong for the grant, Grand Rapids was chosen for the commitment the library had already shown to preserving the history of the city.

“The local history department, we have been collecting the history of Grand Rapids for over a hundred years and we want to continue doing that." 

The selection as one of the winners of the grant is more good news for the public library. Earlier this month voters agreed to a new homeowner’s tax that will help fund the library’s operational costs for the next 20 years. 

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