Illinois History Digital Imaging Grant Program Illinois State Library


The Illinois History-Digital Imaging grant program provides funding for eligible libraries to carry out projects involving the selection, digital capture, storage, and provision of web access to their important historical and cultural collections. Digital Imaging grants support the creation of digital collections while at the same time expanding access to those collections via the Illinois Digital Archives.

The priority of the program is digitization of original source materials relevant to Illinois' history and culture.

Grant projects will involve the production of both digital images and associated metadata in accordance with prescribed standards, and, depending on the format, could also involve the production of audio descriptions and/or transcriptions to enhance accessibility and comply with state and federal law.

The Secretary of State/Illinois State Library funds Illinois History-Digital Imaging grants resulting in the following outcomes:

  1. Illinois citizens have increased access to significant collections about Illinois' historical and cultural importance.
  2. Illinois citizens benefit from unique historical and cultural digitized materials readily available and accessible online.

The grant program includes the following objectives:

  1. To create broader access to Illinois historical collections.
  2. To promote standards and best practices in image and metadata creation, and web delivery.
  3. To help institutions overcome the "Digital Divide" caused by lack of technical experience and personnel.


Library agencies must have completed the 2018 Annual Certification and be recognized by the State Library as a full member of an Illinois library system.

Projects Funded


Program Guidelines

Allowable/Unallowable Costs

The following expenditures for grant funding under this offering will be allowable:

The Illinois State Library will not approve the following uses of grant funds:

Requirements for Training

Review Process

The Illinois History–Digital Imaging grant program is competitive. Only complete applications from eligible library agencies will be considered for funding. Each application must stand on its own merit and is evaluated based on the information provided in the application and supplement PDF (Portable Document Format) forms.

Grants are awarded by the Secretary of State based on recommendations received from an LSTA Grant Review Committee following its review process. A grant review rubric will be used by the committee to evaluate all applications. A copy of the rubric may be requested via email to

In addition to evaluation of the application content, meeting the criteria for library agencies eligible to apply, and the recommendations of the Review Committee, additional factors taken into consideration include:

Only the awarded grant applications shall be considered public information. Working papers, individual reviewer’s comments, notes, and scores are not public information. A summary of the review comments will be shared with the applicant.

Reporting Requirements for Awarded Projects

Grant recipients are expected to submit quarterly narrative, financial and final reports. A quarterly financial and narrative reports schedule is available via the following link to the Digital Imaging Grant Reporting Forms.

Legal Authority

Supporting Resources


For more information on the Illinois History-Digital Imaging grant program, please call 217-558-2064 or email You may also call 312-814-4386 or email