Artstor’s new initiative to preserve and increase the availability of at-risk collections of individual scholars has had a great response—and along with it, it has generated several questions, which we are addressing here.

What it is

Artstor will provide modest financial support (up to $4,000) to digitize and catalog selected at-risk collections; Artstor will then maintain the collections, and make them available through the Artstor Digital Library and open access initiatives such as the Digital Public Library of America.

Artstor will also offer access to our Shared Shelf tools to support the cataloging of these collections, and can provide the data and images back to the contributor in a structured format for those who wish to utilize the resulting content in other systems.

In addition to selecting three projects to support in the coming year, Artstor will build a list of such projects to draw upon as funding becomes available.

What we look for

We are particularly interested in scholar collections that:

  • Document non-Western subject matter or, in Western art and culture, cover under-studied subjects or material that is no longer available
  • Have a pragmatic “road map” to metadata creation
  • Have demonstrated value to colleagues in the area of study or are known to be useful due to the scarcity of the subject matter or the quality of the documentation
  • Can be shared openly

There is no limit to the size of the collections proposed, but the amount of money requested should be able to support the work described.

How to apply

To propose a project, email a 500-word description with the following information to with the subject line “At risk collection”:

  • A description of the collection and how it was created (and by whom)
  • A plan for how the collection would be scanned/cataloged and how much the proposed work would cost
  • Three sample images that demonstrate the unusual value of the collection
  • A brief description of the rights holders involved and whether they would be willing to allow distribution over the open Web

Applicants may submit more than one proposal.

Deadline for first round of submissions: October 31

More questions? Contact us at