Getty Images and Stand Together Announce Grant to Preserve the Historical Archives of HBCUs


Getty Images has partnered up with Stand Together, a philanthropic to announce the launch of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs.

The new grant aims to boost the digitization of the invaluable visual history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Each year, the grants will commit $500,000 towards the digitization of two HBCU’s photographic archives, including digitizing up to 100,000 archival assets per grant recipient. Metadata and licensing opportunities for the winning HBCU’s existing digitized libraries will also be applied. 

“Black history is American history. While some of that history is known, too much is still hidden. Our HBCUs hold precious and treasured experiences, stories, images, and artifacts. We are excited to participate in this important initiative to preserve and strengthen the ability to amplify our collective story,” Grant judge Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, NAACP, said in a statement.

The fight for Black communities to own the rights to historical images has been ongoing. This grant is a small step towards reclaiming Black historical imagery.

Grant recipients will retain all copyright for their visual assets and once digitized, the historical content will be placed in a newly created stand-alone photo collection called the “HBCU Photo Collection” and will be available for licensing on the Getty Images platform.

Getty owns one of the most extensive privately-owned historical photo archives in the world.

All royalties from the images that are preserved through the grants will be redirected into impact programs. Fifty percent will go to grant recipients, who will retain all copyright of the visual assets; 30% of royalties will be used for a financial donation to a scholarship fund focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs, and 20% will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year.

“Getty Images is one of the main sources for imagery. Historically Black Colleges and University have archives of some of the most important images related to Black Lives,” grant judge, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, and Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania said.

“The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is a collaboration that may increase access and dissemination of these important images to the world. The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs also stands as a model of how to leverage resources and organizational structure to remove barriers to diversity of content and purpose.”

The launch invites all HBCUs nationwide to apply online at through Thursday, September 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

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