RIT Project to Electronically Catalog Massive Archival Collection

Grant will help archive more than 3,000 cubic feet of unprocessed collections

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RIT Archive Collections

This document showing a certificate from RIT’s machine drawing class is one of the thousands of historic artifacts that will be electronically archived on the Web.

The archival material inside Rochester Institute of Technology’s Wallace Library consists of thousands of priceless artifacts, photographs and documents, and each one is carefully maintained by a close-knit staff that considers itself fortunate to be literally immersed in RIT history. And now, some financial assistance from the National Historical Publication and Records Commission will help archivists organize and electronically display information about the collections for the world to see.

RIT Archive Collections recently earned a $70,000 grant to create archival descriptions of a backlog of 3,041 cubic feet of unprocessed collections and make them available on the Web. The goal of the project is to provide online access to descriptive information about the university’s historical collections for the very first time.

“Currently, there is very little publically accessible information on our holdings,” says Becky Simmons, RIT archivist. “Increasing access through public discovery of these primary resources on the Web would allow researchers and students anywhere in the world to read and learn about RIT’s precious holdings while shedding light on the rich history of this university.”

RIT Archive Collections document the 180-year history of science, technology, engineering and visual arts education and features an art collection with works by students, faculty and alumni dating back to 1886. RIT’s role in educating the deaf is documented through the special collections within their Deaf Studies Archive.

For more information about RIT’s Archive Collections, call 585-475-2557.