The Carnegie Corporation of New York has announced a $1 million challenge grant to Carnegie Hall for a new digital archives project. The grant will be matched by a grant from the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation.
Carnegie Hall will use the funds to launch an effort to digitize archival collections documenting its 120-year history, a project that will take several years and cost an estimated $5 million to complete. The project will create a digital repository designed to house digital legacy collections and capture new content and materials developed by Carnegie Hall in support of its artistic and educational initiatives and ensure that the documents are preserved for future generations and made accessible to the public.
Established in 1986, the Carnegie Hall Archives contain more than three hundred thousand items relating to nearly fifty thousand performances and events held in the hall's three performance spaces; construction of the building and subsequent alterations; and the many notable artists, world figures, and personalities who have graced the venue's stages. Currently, many of these documents are available only on paper or in media formats likely to become obsolete.
"This year, Carnegie Corporation of New York is observing its centennial. To commemorate this landmark occasion, the corporation decided to celebrate not only its own accomplishments, but also the extraordinary philanthropic legacy of our founder, Andrew Carnegie. Hence, we are proud to make this challenge grant to Carnegie Hall," said Carnegie Corporation president Vartan Gregorian. "In 1889, when Andrew Carnegie first gave the funding to begin building Carnegie Hall, he intended it to be a magnificent public palace for music, but also a cultural center that would enrich the lives of the citizens of New York City. With this new project, Carnegie Hall, which has long since become one of the premier international musical venues, will further its mission of bringing music to a wide audience as well as disseminating learning and knowledge around the world."