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Getty Images Offering $500,000 Toward HBCU Archive Digitization


Getty Images will commit $500,000 to digitize the rich visual history of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The British-American visual media company will partner with philanthropic organization Stand Together to launch the “Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs.”

The money will go toward digitizing the visual archives of two HBCUs, including up to 100,000 archival assets per university. Grant recipients will retain all copyright to their photographic works.

HBCUs “hold precious and treasured experiences, stories, images, and artifacts.” These institutions have long been overlooked, and therefore, too much of their history is still hidden. This project will “preserve and strengthen the ability to amplify their collective story,” grant judge Aba Blankson said.

Next Steps

Getty Images will create a stand-alone photo collection called the “HBCU Photo Collection” to host the archives. The images will be available for licensing on the Getty Images platform. Later this year, the organization will launch the “Getty Images Black History & Culture Collection” to make the photos freely available for non-commercial use.

Fifty percent of royalties from the images will be awarded to grant recipients while 30 percent will go toward creating scholarships for furthering higher education at HBCUs. The remaining 20 percent will be reinvested to fund the archival grants each year.

As invaluable repositories of Black history, the collaboration between Getty Images and HBCUs will “increase access and dissemination of these important images to the world,” University of Pennsylvania professor and grant judge Dr. Tukufu Zuberi said.

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