In 2009 Arcadia, a UK grant-making fund whose mission is to protect endangered culture and nature, made a considerable investment in Yale by providing discretionary financial resources to facilitate and expedite the University Library’s progress with several distinctive and important digitization projects. In January 2010, a team comprising Library area studies curators, technology specialists, and the Associate Librarian for Collections & International Programs met to develop a strategy for deploying the Arcadia funds, during which time they considered a vast number of proposals and recommendations for digitizing and making electronically accessible a range of important and exceptional materials. Following a comprehensive review of an impressive host of possibilities, the team determined that a portion of Arcadia’s gift will be directed in 2010-2011 to digitizing materials from four unique Library collections.
Selected for their demand by expert scholars in their fields, the digitization of these materials would allow for worldwide access, making significant content usable not only by the cognoscenti, but also by students, researchers, and the interested public. These collections contain hitherto untapped resources and the Library is now positioned to impact measurably the preservation of and access to truly significant aspects of our world’s History.