NIU receives CLIR Hidden Collections Grant!

I am so pleased to announce that Northern Illinois University, in collaboration with Villanova University, has received a CLIR Hidden Collections grant to further digitize our dime novel collections.

My first grant application to digitize dime novels was submitted back in 2004. And I tried again in 2008. Which led to the Digital POWRR project, eventually. I’m proud that we finally achieved funding for making these materials more fully available to scholars and the public, with a lot of metadata for people to play with, too!

ETA: Here is the link to our pilot project for these materials.

Our Metadata Librarian, Matthew Short, and Demian Katz from Villanova University are involved along with myself and some of our support staff.

From the project summary:

The Albert Johannsen Project: Digitizing the House of Beadle and Adams and their Nickel and Dime Novels ($448,893)

Northern Illinois University; Villanova University

Project Summary:
Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Villanova University (VU) propose to digitize the dime novels of Beadle & Adams, the first and most important publisher of the format. The project will involve digitizing Albert Johannsen’s personal collection, acquired by NIU in 1967, and will include related publications from VU’s special collections. A total of 5,400 dime novels will be digitized and made freely available to read and download via the website Nickels and Dimes. In addition, the project will incorporate metadata from Johannsen’s The House of Beadle and Adams and their Nickel and Dime Novels (1950), one of the most significant works of dime novel scholarship and bibliography of the 20th century, including relationships between stories, editions, and authors. This will be published as open linked data on and include digital holdings information, which will be used to coordinate dime novel digitization across multiple institutions.


About Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas is a nine time Hugo Award winning editor and podcaster. In her day job, she is Head of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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