Access & Digitization Grants

(Formerly known as RBDB Grants)

We are now accepting applications for the 2021 grant cycle.  Applications must be submitted by Friday, January 29, 2021.

CLRC’s Access & Digitization Grant program, previously known as “RBDB Grants,” empowers member libraries and institutions to make resources available to a wider audience.  Grants are available to facilitate projects involving digitization, metadata creation, and retrospective conversion.  In order to be eligible for a grant, an institution must be a CLRC member in good standing at the Affiliate or Full level; for more information, see our Membership page.

CLRC uses a portion of its RBDB funds from New York State for small grants to member libraries.  The Regional Bibliographic Databases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing (RBDB) Program improves access to library and information resources for library users through the regional development and coordination of automated library services.  RBDB funds are used to support regional programs and projects such as NY Heritage, WorldCat Discovery Services access, and training.

Access & Digitization Grants are awarded through a competitive application process for projects that have broad regional appeal.  CLRC follows New York State’s RBDB program guidelines when reviewing applications.  Applications are reviewed by our Library Resources & Services Committee and an external review committee, then approved by our Board of Trustees.

We offer an informational webinar every grant cycle to go over all aspects of the application process and requirements.  Applicants who have not previously received an Access & Digitization Grant are required to attend the webinar, view the webinar recording, or receive a private consultation.  Previous grant recipients are strongly encouraged to arrange a private consultation prior to applying.  Please contact Ryan Perry ( to arrange for a consultation.

CLRC offers in-house digitization services through our DigLab.  We can handle digitization and metadata for print-based documents and photographs.  Through this service, we handle all aspects of the project, including uploading to NY Heritage or NYS Historic Newspapers.  If you are interested in a quote for our services, you will need to contact Ryan Perry ( by January 15, 2021.


Grant Program Timeline:

December 15, 2020: Informational webinar (also available as a recording)
January 15, 2021: Deadline for requesting a direct consultation or a quote for CLRC’s in-house digitization services
January 29, 2021: Application deadline
February 2021: Library Resources & Services Committee will review the applications, followed by a review by an external committee
March 2021: Board of Trustees will review the recommendations of the committees.
April 2021: Grant recipients announced


Utica College, Frank E. Gannett Library: $1,420 to digitize issues of The Tangerine, the college student newspaper, from Sept. 2012 to the present

Utica College, Center For Historical Research: $2,100 to purchase new PCs for their community digitization program, which documents the history of the Mohawk Valley

Erwin Library and Institute: $4,050 to digitize yearbooks from the Adirondack Central School District, from 1934 – 2019

Town of Pompey Historical Society: $1,125 to digitize paintings by local artist John Calvin Perry (1837-1894)

Didymus Thomas Memorial Library: $1,980 to digitize yearbooks from the Remsen Central School District, from 1938 to present

Syracuse University College of Law Library: $1,800 to digitize student newsletters “Syndicus” (1956-2016) and “The Judge” (1973-1994)

Canastota Public Library: $2,500 to digitize Canastota Bee Journal newspapers, from 1900-1920

New Woodstock Free Library: $725 to digitize paintings by Daniel Tennant, Traci Schuster, as well as 5 other works 

Erie Canal Museum: $4,995 to digitize a collection of 488 glass plate negatives depicting the construction of the current New York State Canal System

SUNY Polytechnic Institute: $9,455 to digitize newspapers—Utica Observer 1839 – 1843, Utica Daily Observer 1848 – 1884, Utica Observer, 1884 – 1894

Waterville Historical Society: $450 to digitize 63 photographs and perform metadata enhancement for 43 previously digitized photographs from the Main Street Collection

Kirkland Town Library: $150 to digitize five paintings from the library’s collection of local artwork

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: $2,500 to perform Metadata enhancement of aerial photographs to overlay them on existing maps and track deforestation over time.

Skaneateles Historical Society, Museum at the Creamery: $8,000 to create metadata for photographs of Skaneateles and the surrounding area

Utica College: $2,707.50 to digitize issues of The Tangerine, the college student newspaper, from 1946 – 2012

New Woodstock Free Library: $750 to digitize the work of local sculptor Joseph Scala

CNY Chapter, National Railway Historical Society: $4,200 to digitize slides depicting railway scenes in Central NY

Hamilton Public Library: $2,880 to digitize The Emerald Press, Hamilton High School’s student newspaper, from 1990 – 2009

Onondaga Community College: $1,800 to digitize issues of the college’s student newspapers, 1964 – 2015

Manlius Library: $3,670 to digitize Voices, the Fayetteville-Manlius high school literary magazine

Onondaga County Public Library – Central Library: $3,430 to digitize issues of the the Syracuse New Times newspaper, from 1969 – 1984.

Oneida Public Library: $1,000 to digitize issues of Democratic Union and Oneida Free Press newspapers, including portions from 1872 – 1901

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: $540 to digitize 25 scrapbooks by noted landscape architect Fletcher Steel

Kirkland Town Library: $600 to digitize a portion of the library’s art collection and create an online exhibit

Maxwell Memorial Library: $3,060 to digitize West Genesee High School yearbooks from 1954 – 2018

Mohawk Valley Community College: $1,440 to digitize 43 volumes of MVCC yearbooks

Little Falls Public Library: $500 to digitize a collection of photographs depicting Little Falls and the surrounding area

Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville: $3,806.25 to digitize issues of Suburban Life newspaper, from 1974 – 1989

Skaneateles Historical Society, Museum at the Creamery: $4,000 to create metadata for photographs of Skaneateles and the surrounding area

LaFayette Public Library: $1,440 to digitize LaFayette High School yearbooks, from 1920 – 2001

Westhill High School Library: $1,980 to digitize Westhill High School yearbooks, from 1962 – 2015

New Woodstock Free Library: $750 to digitize works of art by a local artist.

Mid York Library System: $3,815 to perform retrospective conversion for Prospect Free Library’s catalog records.

Oneida Public Library: $1,620 to digitize Oneida High School yearbooks.

Ilion Free Public Library: $4,160 to digitize Ilion High School yearbooks.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute: $5,500 to create metadata for multimedia content from the Refugees Starting Over Project.  $1,350 to digitize the SUNY Poly student newspaper archive.

Jervis Public Library: $4,560 to digitize drawings by John Jervis, a prominent nineteenth-century civil engineer.

Liverpool Public Library: $2,520 to digitize Liverpool Central School District yearbooks.

Sculpture Space: $1,586 to digitize materials related to activities of resident artists and alumni.  $1,222 to perform a metadata crosswalk that will enable materials from their ArtOneida project to be included in NY Heritage.

Fayetteville Free Library: $2,000 to digitize issues of the Fayetteville Eagle Bulletin from 1995 – 2003.

Manlius Library: $3,200 to digitize additional materials for their Village of Manlius Collection.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: $2,600 to digitize SUNY ESF’s Cranberry Lake campus yearbooks, dating from 1915 – 1940.

Dunham Public Library: $1,500 to digitize Dunham Public Library board minutes, going back to 1926.

Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary: $2,000 to perform retrospective conversion of their remaining physical catalog records.

Skaneateles Historical Society, Museum at the Creamery: $3,000 to create metadata for digitized photographs for inclusion in NY Heritage.

Little Falls Public Library: $1,000 to digitize Little Falls High School yearbooks.