The State of Iowa is getting nearly $100,000 to scan thousands of paper documents with historical significance so they can be saved in digital form.
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs director Mary Cownie says the grant money comes from the Library of Congress.
“As caretakers of the state’s collection of more than 200 million artifacts and documents, our team works every day to preserve that collection for future generations,” Cownie says.
The digitized documents will be posted online, according to Cownie.
“Now having essentially an online tool to have teachers to provide greater access to Iowa history,” Cownie says.
A separate federal grant of nearly $300,000 has aimed at digitizing stacks and stacks of Iowa newspapers, some of which date back to the 1800s.
“It’s our job to help Iowans understand that fascinating history happens right here and we have the artifacts and documents to prove it,” Cownie says.
Cownie’s department has used some of that grant money to convert documents and photos about National Register of Historic Places sites in Iowa into digital records. In addition, two state publications are being digitized, but most of the money in the “Chronicling America” project is to be used to establish a digital collection of historic newspapers.