The Libraries are engaged across campus, around the state, and throughout the world on a number of programs and grant-funded projects.


Copyright Review Management System2

This project is designed to review copyright status of US works published between 1923 and 1962. Books determined to be in the public domain are opened for public use in HathiTrust.

  • Project initiated by University of Michigan and the Hathi Trust; partners include University of Minnesota, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Funder: Institute for Museum and Library Sciences

Terra Populus

Terra Populus provides global-scale data on human population characteristics, land use, land cover, and climate change. It makes data interoperable across time and space, disseminates them to the public and to multiple research communities, and preserves these resources for future generations.

  • Project partners: Minnesota Population Center, U of M Institute on the Environment, University Libraries, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (Columbia University), and the Inter-University Consortium for Politial and Social Research.
  • Funder: National Science Foundation

AgEcon Search

AgEcon Search is a free, open access repository of full-text scholarly literature in agricultural and applied economics, including working papers, conference papers, and journal articles. Founded in 1995, it includes works from over 250 institutions worldwide.

  • Project partners: U of M Department of Applied Economics, the University Libraries, and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association


U-Spatial provides support for spatial research eliminating duplication and fragmentation of scientific resources, and providing a framework of data, equipment, and expertise.

  • Funder: U of M Office of the Vice President for Research

Minnesota Digital Library/Minnesota Reflections

Minnesota Reflections is a project of the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL). The collection contains more than 150,000 images, maps and documents from more than 160 of the state's cultural heritage organizations. MDL is a program of Minitex, a division of the University Libraries.

  • Project Partners: Minitex, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minnesota Historical Society, and others
  • Funder: Minnesota Arts and Culture Heritage (Legacy) Fund

Open Textbook Adoption Program

The project provides faculty development programming around the use and adoption of open textbooks to eight partner institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Tracked open textbook adoptions will be used to calculate overall cost-savings to students.

  • Project partners: U of M College of Education and Human Development and University Libraries
  • Funder: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Consortium for the Study of the PreModern World

The James Ford Bell Library is partnering with the U of M College of Liberal Arts and the Centers for Medieval Studies and Early Modern History to re-imagine graduate education in this area of scholarly research across disciplines and departments.

  • Funder: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation



Catalog for "The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter"

Funding enabled initial printing of 1,200 catalogs.

  • Funder:  J.M. Kaplan Fund/Furthermore

Mapping Prejudice Project

The project provides access to data sets, digital mapping and raw data from the Mapping Prejudice project; assists City to identify entities with the goal of establishing an ad-hoc working group consisting of academic, governmental and private sector representatives; makes presentations to audiences including the City and its stakeholders, at conferences and to professional network and development organizations; and trains governmental entities about the history of policies that have resulted in racially-biased intent or outcomes.

  • Funder:  City of Minneapolis

Shared Big Data Gateway Project

The project will develop, seed, and maintain a cloud-based, extensible cyberinfrastructure for sharing large academic library data resources with a growing community of scholars; and will create a sustainable and shared resource for current and future big data mining and analysis.

  • Funder:  Institute for Museum and Library Sciences/Indiana University

Data Management Ed for Health Science Librarians

Health Science Libraries librarians will train Graduate Students and Faculty at the University of Minnesota Duluth in data curation, data management, federal funding compliance, and research reproducibility. The project will advance the mission of the NIH and the NNLM GMR by broadening data management competencies across the region.

  • Funder:  National Network of Libraries of Medicine-Greater Midwest Region

Linked Data for Production: Pathway to Implementation (LD4P Phase 2)

The project will develop a workflow for the cataloging of artists' books and fine press books, using the Art & Rare Materials BIBFRAME Ontology Extension developed by the LD4P Phase 1.

  • Funder:  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Stanford University

Launching the Data Curation Network: A cross-institutional staffing model for curating research data

Launching the Data Curation Network will enable institutions of all sizes to better and more efficiently support researchers that are faced with a growing number of requirements to ethically share their research data. The DCN will supplement local curation expertise with the expertise of a resilient, distributed network and create a funding stream to both sustain central services and support expansion of distributed expertise over time.

  • Funder:  Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Saving Scrapbooks in the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

This project aims to identify, create descriptive metadata, digitize, and preserve scrapbooks from the collections of the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.

  • Funder:  Oren & Sharron Steinfeldt Family Foundation

The African American Theater History Project: Community Engagement and Dissemination

This project follows on the IMLS-funded project to develop the shareable online search tool, ( Funding will support focused outreach and promotional efforts to the core audience—theater professionals, K-12 educators, students, scholars, librarians and curators—and development of educational and curricular applications.

  • Funder: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

SimplyE for Consortia: Three Clicks for All Your Ebooks

The project includes the design and implementation of enhancements to the open-source SimplyE ereader and discovery system.  Collaborators: New York Public Library, University of Minnesota Libraries, Digital Public Library of America, Boston Public Library, Ramsey County Library (MN), Great River Regional Library System (MN), and Plainfield Public Library District (IL).

  • Funder:  Institute for Museum and Library Sciences


(Project end date)

Preserving History in the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

The project supports of the digitization of oral history cassettes and photographs held in the collection.

  • Funder:  Oren & Sharron Steinfeldt Family Foundation

Prairie Poets & Press:  Literary Lives of the Upper Midwest

The project arranges, describes, and makes accessible to researchers the work of three premiere Minnesota writers and one premiere Minnesota press: poets Bill Holm, Robert Bly, and Margaret Hasse, and publisher Milkweed Editions.

  • Funder: Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage (Legacy) Fund

Sustaining Rare Maps and Books at the University of Minnesota

This project will create sustainable, climate-controlled environments to house and preserve its world renowned James Ford Bell Library collection, currently housed in a vault in the O. Meredith Wilson Library into a new compact shelving area beneath Elmer L. Andersen Library.

  • Funder:  National Endowment for the Humanities

Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Heath and Illness Traveling Exhibit

In partnership with the National Library of Medicine, the American Library Association is launching a national tour of the Native Voices exhibit. The exhibit examines how wellness and illness are interconnected with cultural lives. Stories drawn from both the past and the present examine how the determinants of health for Native People are tied to community, land, and spirit. The exhibit will be hosted by the Health Services Library.

  • Funder: American Library Association


(Project end date)

Revealing Bound Maps in the James Ford Bell Library Collection

This project allows the Bell Library staff to find, describe, digitize, and make Web available maps bound into 11,000 rare books and atlases of the early modern period. At the project’s conclusion in November 2015 an estimated 30,000 previously unknown maps will have been discovered.

  • Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities

Guthrie Theater Archives--the 21st Century Collection

The project is to arrange, preserve, and describe the records of the nationally recognized Guthrie Theater. The collection contains records from every play produced, as well as the theater’s organizational history, from its founding and administration to its education and outreach programs to its marketing and development work.
  • Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities

Planning the Data Curation Network

The Data Curation Network will enable academic institutions to better support researchers that are faced with a growing number of requirements to ethically share their research data. The goal is to demonstrate that a ‘network of expertise’ model for data curation services will enable academic libraries to collectively, and more effectively, curate a wider variety of data types (e.g., discipline, file format, etc.) that expands beyond what any single institution might offer alone.

  • Funder:  Alfred P. Sloan Foundation


(Project end date)

Celebrating Venice:  At the Center

The multi-component celebration organized by the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota included a gallery exhibition, "The Bembos of Venice: Merchants, Diplomats, and a Knight of Malta," a series of lectures, and an online exhibition.

  • Funder:  The Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation

Transgender Oral History

The goal of the Midwest Transgender Oral History project is to document the contemporary transgender experience in the Upper Midwest not only to support the transgender community but to provide a deeper store of materials for research and reflection.

  • Funder: Tawani Foundation

Transgender Oral History Project

The Transgender Oral History Project (TOHP) launched in 2015 with funding from the Tawani Foundation will collect up to 400 hours of oral history from 200-300 transgender individuals. This award will support additional travel and allow collection of a more diverse, inclusive, and representation collection of life stories.

  • Funder: Headwaters Foundation for Justice/Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grants

Digitizing African American Archival Materials Across University of Minnesota Collections

The project amasses an African American digital collection from every collecting/research area in Archives and Special Collections (ASC) including over 500,000 objects from more than 70 collections across all 12 ASC units This work also supports Umbra: Search African American History (, created by the Libraries' Givens Collection of African American Literature.

  • Funder: Council on Library and Information Resources


(Project end date)

Preservation of Minnesota’s Radio History: An Audio Digital Conversion and Access Project

The University of Minnesota radio station KUOM, is the first and oldest radio station in Minnesota and is the tenth oldest continuously operating station in the United States. This project, digital conversion of the station's audio files, follows an earlier Legacy grant to arrange and describe the collection.

  • Funder: Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage (Legacy) Fund

Korean Cultural Lecture and Film Series

Korean scholars will deliver lectures and serve on film discussion panels targeting students, faculty, and staff from the University of Minnesota and from surrounding institutions. It also includes an outreach program targeting K-12 students to learn more about Korea and provide information literacy skills.

  • Funder: Korea Foundation

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America, launched April 2013, opens digital collections from libraries and museums across the country to anyone with an Internet connection. The new “library” ( is a Google-like search portal tying together digitized records from around the country. The Minnesota Digital Library—a statewide collaboration of the University of Minnesota, Minitex, and the Minnesota Historical Society—is one of seven regional hubs of the new digital library.

  • Funders: National Endowment for the Humanities and John L. and James S. Knight Foundation


(Project end date)

Minnesota on the Air

The University of Minnesota radio station KUOM, is the first and oldest radio station in Minnesota and is the tenth oldest continuously operating station in the United States. Licensed in 1922, KUOM employed many notable broadcasters including Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee, Marion Watson, and Minnesota’s most recognizable radio personality, Garrison Keillor. The project is to arrange, preserve, describe the station’s administrative records in an online inventory.

  • Funder: Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage (Legacy) Fund

Local Skills, Global Impact: Training and Networking Librarians, Bringing Community Collections to the World

Minitex, a joint program of the of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries, has been named a sub-awardee on a grant to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The Public Library Partnerships Project will digitize materials from public libraries in Minnesota to be included in the Minnesota Digital Library, a DPLA hub, and to provide training and exhibit creation for public library materials.

  • Prime funding source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The African American Theater History Project: Metadata Aggregation and Discovery of Digitized and Born Digital Archival Content and Collections

In partnership with Penumbra Theatre Company, the Givens Collection of African American Literature and Performing Arts Archives is developing a shareable online search tool that brings together archival content documenting over 400 years of African American cultural history with a focus on African American theater and performing arts.

  • Funder: Institute for Museum and Library Sciences

Project Ceres

The program is designed to preserve and make accessible digitized materials essential to students of the History and Economics of Agriculture. The University of Minnesota is digitizing select U of M Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station publications that will be shared through the University Digital Conservancy and AgEcon Search. The project has been approved for a second round of funding extending the project through Spring 2016.

  • Funder: US Agricultural Information Network, Center for Research Libraries

Claiming History: Giving Voice to the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies

Materials documenting the history of the GLBT movement in Minnesota are being organized and described including the papers of MN State Senator Scott Dibble, records of Minnesota United, Outfront Minnesota, MN Aids Project, MN Men of Color, Twin Cities Pride, University of MN Systems-Wide Programs Office, and the personal papers of Jean-Nickolaus Tretter, founder and gay rights advocate.

  • Funder: Minnesota Arts and Culture Heritage (Legacy) Fund

Exploring Minnesota’s Natural History: Digitization and Online Access

The digital conversion project is providing online access to the botanical, zoological, ornithological, and environmental research conducted at the University during the 19th and early 20th century. Source collections include records of the Bell Museum of Natural History, the Department of Botany, and the Minnesota Geological and Natural History Survey.

  • Funder: Minnesota Arts and Culture Heritage (Legacy) Fund

Preserving Minnesota’s Performing Arts Heritage

The Libraries maintains the archives of a number of historically significant, Minnesota-based performing arts organizations including the Guthrie Theater, Penumbra Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and James Sewell Ballet. This project allowed the Libraries to digitize the magnetic video and film holdings from these organizations.

  • Funder: Minnesota Arts and Culture Heritage (Legacy) Fund


(Project end date)

Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys (Part 2)

Building on the theme “Connected Histories,” the Libraries hosted community conversations around five books which were free to participants.

  • Funders: National Endowment for the Humanities and American Library Association

Preserving the Ephemeral: An Archival Program for Theater and Performing Arts

Collecting, preserving, and maintaining the archives of a performing arts organizations is a complex process and often discourages theaters from addressing the problem. Two national forums for artistic directors and theater administrative staff, primarily from African-American and theaters of color, were convened to discuss the issue which resulted in an archival records management plan.

  • Project Partner: Penumbra Theatre
  • Funder: Institute for Museum and Library Sciences/National Leadership Grant

Educating the New Generation of e-Scientists through Data Information Literacy Curriculum

By mandate, many federally-funded grant projects must include a data management plan. The project explored which data management and curation skills will be needed by future scientists and how academic libraries can build discipline-specific data information literacy programs.

  • Project initiated by Purdue University; U of M Libraries served as sub-recipient
  • Funder: Institute for Museum and Library Sciences/National Leadership Grant

Celebrating Venice: On Land and Sea

A celebration of Venice featured an exhibition displaying maps, manuscripts, and rare book holdings of the James Ford Bell Library, four public lectures by scholars from the University of Minnesota, Yale University, Princeton University, and Southern Methodist University; and cultural events.

  • Project co-leaders: University Libraries and Center for Early Modern History
  • Funders: The Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation and the Whitney Foundation

Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys (Part 1)

The University Libraries, with its partner Hennepin County Library, sponsored two public programs: a documentary film screening, “Koran by Heart” with a discussion featuring US Congressman Keith Ellison and a screening and discussion of the film “Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World.”

  • Funders: National Endowment for the Humanities/American Library Association