The Internet Archive is seeking applicants for its next cohort of Community Webs! We are thrilled to announce that the program is now open to additional cultural heritage organizations in the US, as well as any public library or local memory organization in Canada and internationally.
Community Webs provides infrastructure and services, training and education, and professional community cultivation for public libraries and cultural heritage organizations to document local history and the lives of their communities. Launched in the US in 2017 with kickoff funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Community Webs began expanding nationally in 2020 with generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Building on the program’s success and continued growth, Internet Archive is now supporting expansion of the program into Canada and to the international community, and is accepting applications for our next cohort kicking off in late-Summer 2021. The deadline for applications is August 2, 2021.
- For US-based Organizations: Call for Applications & Direct Application Link
- For Canadian Organizations: Call for Applications & Direct Application Link
- For International Organizations: Call for Applications & Direct Application Link
The program offers a unique opportunity for participating organizations to build capacity in digital collecting. Community Webs participants work alongside peer organizations and with their local communities to document the lives of their citizens, marginalized voices, and groups often absent from the historical record. All Community Webs participants receive:
- A guaranteed multi-year free subscription to the Archive-It web archiving service, which includes perpetual storage and access provided by the Internet Archive.
- Access to additional Internet Archive non-profit services, such as digitization and digital preservation, either for free (as funding allows) or at or below actual cost.
- Training and educational resources related to digital collections, web archiving, digital preservation, and other topics, as well as access to a cohort community pursuing similar work and to networking spaces, events, and knowledge sharing platforms.
- The option to leverage program partnerships and integrations to include community web archives in other aggregators or access platforms beyond Internet Archive.
The program currently includes over 100 public libraries from across the United States. These organizations have collectively archived over 70 terabytes of web-based community heritage materials. Some highlights include:
- New Brunswick Free Public Library in New Jersey is documenting the city’s Black Lives Matter movement, spanish language newspapers, and local theatre projects.
- Athens Regional Library System, Forbes Library, Grand Rapids Public Library, and many others have created collections capturing their communities’ experiences of COVID-19.
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Kansas City Public Library, East Baton Rouge Parish Library and more are documenting art and artists in their communities.
The benefits of the program are wide-ranging and impactful for both participants and their communities. As Community Webs member Makiba J. Foster of the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Broward County, Florida stated during a recent Community Webs event, Archiving the Black Diaspora, “Community Webs provided me with the training, they provided me with the cohort support, […] provided me with services, and particularly it helped to develop an expertise for me in terms of creating collections of historically significant web materials documenting our local communities.” The program “allowed me to start a project of recovery and documentation of digitally born content related to the Black experience.” More information about what Foster and other Community Webs members are up to can be found by viewing our recent program announcements.
Find out more about the program and keep up to date by visiting the Community Webs website. Apply online today and spread the word!