BROOKLYN — Brooklynites can preserve a piece of their family history with a new project offered by the borough’s public libraries.
“Culture in Transit,” a joint program with the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library and the Metropolitan New York Library Council, will allow residents to digitally archive their neighborhood stories.
Branches and community organizations will receive new digitization equipment to help New Yorkers preserve their memorabilia, which they can share in local collections and submit online to the Digital Public Library of America.
Submissions can include photographs, school certificates, old business flyers, mementos, and family keepsakes, according to Ivy Marvel, manager of special collections at BPL.
While the BPL maintains its Brooklyn Collection, which provides research materials and archival documents that include old Brooklyn maps, prints, and editions of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the new project aims at focusing on an individualized experience.
“It’s all about focusing on daily stuff that people accumulate that tell the story about how we’re living here, and how we have been living over the years,” Marvel said. “We want to be inviting people to bring in their own content so they can tell their own story about their own history.”
Scanning mobile kits are expected in 10 undetermined library branches in both Brooklyn and Queens, as well as up to 20 small cultural institutions that will work with the Metropolitan New York Library Council.
Funding is made available through a $330,000 award from the Knight Foundation.
“There is a growing demand for libraries to evolve their role and become more dynamic, living platforms, responsive to community needs," said John S. Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for media innovation. "The winners are working to reinvent the ways in which people experience the library, and providing citizens with the tools and information they require to contribute and strengthen our democracy."
The initiative is modeled after the Queens Memory Project, which aims to record and preserve contemporary history in that borough.
“Culture in Transit” will be offered at select branches starting in late spring or early summer, Marvel said, when residents can attend sessions to submit their entries.