North Carolina Central University Selected as Recipient of Getty Images Grant to Digitize Rare Imagery from its Archival Photographic Library

Posted January 27, 2022, 11:48AM
North Carolina College for Negroes Class of 1923-24

North Carolina Central University today announced it is one of four recipients of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an initiative aimed at preserving and amplifying the invaluable visual history of HBCUs.

Funding from the grant will support the digitization of roughly 50,000 rarely seen archival photographs from North Carolina Central University’s library, including stories of Black Wall Street in Durham and the school’s sports history, as well as images of historical figures visiting the campus, including Zora Hurston, Adam C. Powell, JH Franklin, and Thurgood Marshall. Claflin University, Jackson State University and Prairie View A&M University were also selected as recipients of the grant.

“North Carolina Central University’s rich history, vibrant culture and steady growth over the past 111 years have been captured through images. The generous investment by Getty Images will offer new, technologically enhanced and advanced ways in which we, as a leading Historically Black University, can further tell our story,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., Chancellor of NCCU. “A strategic partnership with the world’s largest visual storytelling and preservation company is one that will strengthen and elevate the importance of digitizing our important photographic collections that document the history of NCCU and other HBCUs that are institutional gems to our nation. The collaboration also trains the next generation of librarians, archivists and public historians who will work with these priceless collections.”

Launching today on gettyimages.com, the “Historically Black Colleges & Universities Collection” will see thousands of images added throughout 2022. Archivists and librarians from North Carolina Central University will work alongside Getty Images’ team of archivists and Adnet Global, a renowned post-production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries, in the photo digitization process.  

“The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs were created to honor the vast history of HBCUs and their contribution to American history,” said Cassandra Illidge, VP of Partnerships at Getty Images. We are committed to preserving the visual narrative of all cultures and communities to ensure these vital artifacts are accessible to storytellers around the world.

North Carolina Central University will retain all copyright of its photos and once digitized, the historical content will be placed in a newly created stand-alone Getty Images photo collection dubbed the “HBCU Photo Collection,” which will be made available for licensing in early 2022.

All revenue generated from the images that are preserved through the Grants will be funneled back into impact programs: 50 percent will go to grant recipients; 30 percent of revenue will be used for a financial donation to a scholarship fund focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs; and 20 percent will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year.

The applications were judged by an esteemed panel which included:

The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is part of Getty Images’ commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, and dismantling discrimination, including bringing to market unseen historical content and creating revenue streams for organizations working to build a more inclusive society. It is part of the company’s wider grants program, which has donated over US$1.8 million to photographers and videographers around the world since its inception.

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