FAMU Meek-Eaton Black Archives Receives Grants Totaling More Than $500K

July 11, 2023
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FAMU Meek-Eaton Black Archives Receives Grants Totaling More Than $500K

Funding from the Institute of Museums and Library Services and the Mellon Foundation will help train museum professionals and increase public access to digital collections.

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Meek-Eaton Black Archives (MEBA) Research Center and Museum has been awarded two grants totaling more than $500,000 to help train current and future museum professionals, and to increase public access to its digital collections of African American history and culture.

The Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) awarded MEBA a $360,000 grant to create an online database of artifacts, support staff training and provide internship opportunities to FAMU students across disciplines. The grant will also fund the purchase of a large-scale AO Quartz scanner to digitize materials on the same scale as the Library of Congress. Additionally, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded MEBA a $150,000 grant to support long-term plans for addressing a backlog in the archive’s main collection vault.


“We are excited about the opportunities presented through both funding awards, especially the impact upon student learning through paid internships,” said MEBA Director Timothy A. Barber. “Students will be introduced to careers in history, culture, museums, and archives within a realistic environment, which will strengthen their employability skills in these areas upon graduation.”

Currently, FAMU is one of five Historically Black colleges and Universities (HBCUs) selected by the National Museum of African American History & Culture to participate in a five-year consortium to preserve and interpret African American art, history, culture, and memory.

According to the HBCU History and Culture Access Consortium, activities like those to be produced from the IMLS and the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation grants are helping to strengthen HBCU museums and archives like MEBA by fortifying their distinct roles in American history.

“The secured funding from MEBA underscores the strategic priority we have set forth as a University that targets the long-term fiscal health and sustainability of one the largest repositories of African American history and culture in the southeastern United States,” said Provost Allyson Watson, Ph.D. “It also speaks to our commitment to student success by making sure our graduates are career-ready as future professionals in the cultural sector.”

For more information about MEBA, visit famu.edu/blackarchives.