APDA Awarded Grant

ADPA Director, Thurburn Barker inspecting one of 340,000 astronomical photographic glass plates in APDA’s collection.


PARI has been awarded a Museums for America Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The $24,475.00 grant comes as a direct result of an APDA (Astronomical Photographic Data Archive) Stewardship Proposal by PARI Consultants Dr. Mike Castelaz and Thurburn Barker. The funds from the grant will help develop a standards-based EAD3 compliant online digital finding aid that links to APDA’s online public access digital catalog of astronomical plates and films for research, education, interpretation, publication, and study.

“With support from the Institute of Museums and Library Services, we will be able to make the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at PARI visible to the world. Astronomers anywhere in the world can access finding aids describing the contents of APDA, request which of the 50 collections of ~340,000 astronomical photographic glass plates and films may contain images of celestial objects they are studying,” says Dr. Mike Castelaz. “This new database resource is critical for APDA’s recognition as one of the largest collections of astronomical photographic data in the world. We are very excited by the receipt of the IMLS grant and greatly appreciate their confidence in our work.”

This year IMLS received 558 applications requesting $104,538,159. Of these, 132 projects were selected to receive funding totaling $19,189,929. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program and project category. IMLS staff presented this information to the IMLS Director, Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, who then made the final funding decisions.

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said Dr. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grantmaking as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”