The Institute of Museum and Library Services has been an important supporter of several initiatives to make the Brooklyn Museum’s collection much more accessible to a wider audience. One good example of this initiative is the M-LEAD Project which has brought 30 students from Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science to the Museum to train as interns in the Libraries, Archives and Digital Lab. The M-LEAD Project was funded by the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program that supports projects to recruit students from diverse cultural backgrounds and to educate the next generation of librarians, archivists and digital managers. We was delighted to participate in this collaboration with Pratt Institute that allowed the Museum to be a training ground for their students.
We’ve now embarked on another project with Pratt Institute, also funded by IMLS, entitled CHART that is focused on digitizing historic photographs of Brooklyn. Project CHART (Cultural Heritage, Access, Research and Technology), is a cross-institutional collaboration between Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Public Library and us. At the end of this 3-year grant funded project, Project CHART will provide online access to historical documentary photographs of Brooklyn that were previously only available on-site at each institution.
You can follow along and see some of the images the Brooklyn Museum CHART interns have already scanned which are presented on the Museum’s website. We are uploading new images almost daily and eventually these images will be linked to others being digitized by the collaborating institutions.
We will be reporting on the progress of our CHART Project as it progresses. We hope that this project, already beneficial to the interns as a learning experience, will become a digital resource to the local, national and international research community and anyone else interested in the history and preservation of Brooklyn’s history.
Deirdre Lawrence has been the Principal Librarian at the Brooklyn Museum since late 1983. Before coming to the Brooklyn Museum, she was Associate Librarian at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She received her M. L. S. from Pratt Institute in 1979 and has studied art history on the graduate level. At the Brooklyn Museum she has established the Museum Archives and implemented many projects to preserve and make accessible the research collections. Deirdre has overseen a major renovation project, implementation of an online catalog and several collaborative projects with other libraries. She has written articles on the collections and lectured frequently on the research collections held in the Libraries and Archives as well as Brooklyn Museum history. Deirdre has curated several exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum and elsewhere. She is a visiting professor at Pratt’s School of Information and Library Science and serves as a board member at the Center for Book Arts in New York.