challenge grant will boost E-text Center endowment
National Endowment for the Humanities
(NEH) has awarded a challenge grant to the University Library's
Electronic Text Center.
With this grant of $200,000, to be matched four-to-one by private
fundraising over a four-year period, the library will create a
$1 million endowment that will be used to expand one of the world's
most prominent and useful online cultural and research sites.
portion of the NEH funds will go immediately to train and support
graduate students, as well as to keep computer hardware and software
up-to-date, and to provide user support. Once the endowment is
fully funded, it will provide tens of thousands of dollars every
year for the E-text Center's primary goals: to build and maintain
an Internet-accessible collection of texts and images in the humanities
and to nurture a user community adept at the creation of these
grant comes at the perfect time, as we are working to build on
our already substantial accomplishments in the digital world to
create 'the library of tomorrow' here at Virginia," said
University Librarian Karin Wittenborg.
E-text Center started in 1992 with one English graduate student
-- David Seaman, who is now its director -- at a desk with a personal
University Librarian Kendon Stubbs saw the need for libraries
to take advantage of emerging computer technologies and championed
the center's growth. "It is now a model for libraries worldwide,"
E-text Center provides access to over 45,000 electronic texts
online and hosts a myriad of web sites created by faculty for
teaching and learning. The site provides access to texts in English
and 13 other languages, including innovative sites in Japanese
and Chinese literature, as well as subjects ranging from Samuel
Taylor Coleridge to the Salem witch trials. The E-text web server
receives over 80,000 individual accesses per day, making it a
prime cultural outreach vehicle of the University.
along, the center has been a leader in setting standards for the
coding and delivery of texts in order to guarantee universal access.
It has also garnered substantial funding for individual projects,
including two major grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
to create an archive of images and texts from rare first editions
of early American fiction.
friends of the library have already contributed nearly $100,000
in cash and pledges that can be counted toward the NEH challenge,"
according to Hoke Perkins, director of development for electronic
more information about the E-text Center, visit the web site at
call Director David Seaman at 924-3230.