Ray Larson, a Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information, was awarded a National Leadership Grant of $398,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for his research project titled "Bringing Lives to Light: Biography in Context." Professor Larson will serve as the principal investigator and work collaboratively with Professor Emeritus Michael Buckland and Fredric Gey, a scientist at UC DATA.
Their project will create improved tools and identify best practices to automatically link biographical information about people to their historic and geographic context in a way that is clearly displayed and easy to use. The project will allow librarians, archivists, editors, and educational publishers to better serve the public.
"Today’s grants will not only make tens of thousands of items from America's museums, libraries, and archives accessible to the public on the internet, they will also foster community economic development and improve disaster planning so that the delivery of vital information services remains available during times of crisis," said Dr. Anne-Imelda M. Radice.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 15,000 museums. Its mission is to grow and sustain a “Nation of Learners” because life-long learning is essential to a democratic society and individual success. Through its grant making, convenings, research and publications, the Institute empowers museums and libraries nationwide to provide leadership and services to enhance learning in families and communities, sustain cultural heritage, build twenty-first-century skills, and increase civic participation.