The Alliance For American Quilts and Michigan State University Secure Grant from NEH to Launch The Quilt Index
East Lansing, Michigan and Louisville, Kentucky, June 4, 2001 — The National Endowment for the Humanities has granted $200,000 to Michigan State University to launch The Quilt Index. The Quilt Index is a project conceived and developed by The Alliance for American Quilts in partnership with Michigan State’s MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts and Letters Online and the Michigan State University Museum.
The Quilt Index will be a comprehensive on-line research tool providing wide public access to information about quilts, both publicly and privately held. Working in XML using the Metadata Encoding Transmission Standards (METS) that have been developed by members of the international digital library community, MATRIX is constructing the Quilt Index and designing the World Wide Web interfaces. The Index will draw together previously scattered and difficult to access documentation and images of quilts and quilt makers from state and regional quilt projects and public collections, as well as bibliographies of secondary materials and finding aids—all will be searchable through the Index’s site on the World Wide Web (http://www.quiltindex.org).
The NEH funding will make possible the design of the Quilt Index in collaboration with four pilot digitization partners. These pilot sites are The Illinois State Museum, The Kentucky Quilt Project/University of Louisville Archives and Records Center, the Michigan Quilt Project/Michigan State University Museum, and The Quilts of Tennessee/Tennessee State Library. Each of these partners will digitize a portion of their extensive records as part of the Index’s development and initial deployment. Once The Quilt Index is launched, The Alliance and MATRIX will begin working with state quilt projects and collecting institutions around the country to add records about the tens of thousands of quilts that have been documented. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is also a partner in this project, and will link their on-line quilt records with the Index.
Alliance co-president Shelly Zegart commented, “The Quilt Index has long been a dream of many who study quilts and work to preserve their history. For the first time, anyone with access to the Internet will be able to search a vast database of quilt images and information.” Professor Mark Kornbluh, Director of MATRIX said, “We are so pleased to be working with The Alliance and its partners to develop and host The Quilt Index; it will provide unprecedented access to previously unpublished documentation on American quilts and quilt making; and will be a rich resource for students, teachers, scholars, quilt makers, and the general public.”
The Alliance for American Quilts is a national non-profit organization that has developed a series of projects to document, preserve, and share the history and stories of quilts and quilt makers. It plays a unique role as a catalyst, bringing together institutions and individuals from the creative, scholarly, and business aspects of quilts to advance the recognition of quilts in American culture. A board of more than 20 scholars, teachers, and quiltmakers has worked since 1993 with The Alliance’s four founders to advance the work of documenting this nation’s quilt heritage. The Alliance implements its projects in partnership with institutions and organizations nationally, including those noted above and the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, the University of Texas Center for American History, The University of Nebraska International Quilt Study Center, and the University of Delaware Center for American Material Culture Studies. Projects include The Quilters’ S.O.S. Project- Save Our Stories, a grassroots oral history project; Boxes Under the Bed™, an effort to identify and preserve quilt documentation, and Quilt Treasures, a project that documents the lives and work of the leaders of the American quilt revival.
Based at Michigan State University, MATRIX is devoted to the application of new technologies in humanities and social science teaching and research. The center creates and maintains online resources, provides training in computing and new teaching technologies, and creates forums for the exchange of ideas and expertise in new teaching technologies. MATRIX, a national leader in developing online resources, hosts Digital Library Initiative II projects National Gallery of the Spoken Word and African Digital Library. As the host of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences OnLine, MATRIX supports more than 100 free electronic, interactive newsletters, including H-Quilts, a listserv devoted to discussion of quilts and quilt scholarship.
Michigan State University Museum, the state’s natural and cultural history museum, is home of the Great Lakes Quilt Center. The MSU Museum has a long history of engagement in research, education, and service projects related to quilts and holds a collection of over 500 quilts, quilt-related ephemera, and quilt-related documentation.
For more information, contact:
Mark Kornbluh, Director
or Justine Richardson, Project Coordinator
MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts and Letters Online
Michigan State University
(517) 355-9300 (tel)
(517) 355-8363 (fax)
The Alliance For American Quilts
(502) 897-7566 (tel)
(502) 897-3819 (fax)
http://www.quiltcenter.org Email: email@example.com Visit the website at http://www.matrix.msu.edu
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