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Regional Automation Advisory Committee

This guide provides information about the Regional Automation Advisory Committee including the membership roster, general charges, past minutes, resources, and past events.

2021 Regional Collection Grant Projects

CDLC is excited to announce the recipients of the CDLC 2021 Regional Collections Grants which provide an opportunity for libraries, museums, and historical societies to make their undiscovered collections accessible for all to discover and enjoy. This year we were able to provide funding to seven institutions.

Congratulations to our recipients and thank you for making your unique collections available!​

  • Albany County Historical Association will contribute items to New York Heritage, digitizing and creating finding aids for two key collections in the ACHA’s holdings which relate to ethnic identity, women's lives, and African-American and servants' lives in Albany County during the late 19th century. Lizzie Judson’s Sketchbook (1885-1887) and the Veghte Family Photographs and Papers (c.1870-1912) are both unique records providing researchers insights into social classes in late 19th-century Albany. The collections include sketches of and rare photographs of immigrant servants, nursemaids, and African-Americans workers and servants. The records also highlight the role of women – particularly teenage women – in family life, and their engagement with nature, their homes, gardens, and family life.
  • Cheney Library, Hoosick Falls, a member of the Upper Hudson Library System, will be able to add a number of newspaper titles to the New York State Historic Newspaper including the Hoosick Falls Standard Press, The Gazette, and the Democrat with paper dates spanning over 100 years from 1864-1983.
  • Historic Cherry Hill will be digitizing and adding 13 manuscript cookbooks ('receipt books"), totaling 1,442 pages, to their New York Heritage. Kept by the members of the Van Rensselaer Family of Cherry Hill from the 18th through the 20th century, this collection is among the most requested manuscript material at Historic Cherry Hill. Cherry Hill’s first mistress, Maria Van Rensselaer, began the first receipt book in 1768, the year of her marriage. A collection of recipes for fancy confections, cures, and household necessities (such as glue or shoe polish), the book represents the summation of one eighteenth-century mistress's knowledge of all that is needed to run a large, prosperous household. The receipt book includes a significant recipe for tea cookies, which, according to food historian, Peter Rose, is probably the oldest surviving Dutch-American cookie recipe. This and other early receipt books in the collection are valuable to researchers studying foodways, household economics, and Anglo-Dutch culture in the Hudson Valley.
  • Maria College Library plans to digitize 141 documents that help chronicle the growth of the college from its origin to today, adding the content to New York Heritage.
  • miSci will continue to add to their vast New York Heritage collection with the digitization of 600 items from the Mohawk Association of Scientists and Engineers (MASE), an organization of socially conscious scientists and engineers, active in the Capital Region from 1947-1963. Originally formed out of concern for atomic weapons, it expanded into other issues, including the targeting of scientists by the House Un-American Committee, transferring technology to developing countries, and science education. In the early 60s, scientists from MASE founded a national organization, the Volunteers for International Technical Assistance, that provided solar cooking materials to African nations and developed a wide variety of technical support materials for civil engineering and power generation for developing nations.
  • Schenectady County Historical Society will be adding a new 115 item collection to New York Heritage. The materials include diaries, letters, muster rolls, checks, memoranda, military orders, and photographs. The materials were created by or received by Schenectady County soldiers and their loved ones in the course of their service during the Civil War, and describe events, military business, conditions, and individual experiences of the war.
  • Union College will be digitizing the diary of Jonathan Pearson and adding that content to New York Heritage. Pearson graduated from Union College in 1835, where he taught Chemistry and Natural History before he became the Librarian and, finally, the Treasurer of the College. He began keeping his diary from about fourteen years of age, writing nearly every day for some duration, occasionally falling out of the habit to pick it up again. All told, his accounts stretch from 1828 until forty-seven years later and amount to 2,500 pages in length. They start with the scribblings of a young man, detailing his experiences and travels, and continue through his college years and his employment at the College. The diary holds accounts of Pearson’s travels in New England and through parts of the United States and documents his time as a member of the College administration. In addition, Pearson, a devout Baptist, reflects on many aspects of the society of his day, such as slavery, as he records his impressions of historical events. Pearson himself suffers illness, engages in many travels, and lives as a father through the travails of family life.

Grant applications were reviewed by a grants sub-committee that included members of CDLC’s Regional Automation Advisory Committee, comprised of Brenden McCarthy (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Sharon O'Brien (Mohawk Valley Library System), and Nancy Poehlmann (University at Albany Libraries.) Projects were considered that improved access to collections and content or raised the visibility of regional collections while meeting the goals of CDLC's Plan of Service. Committee recommendations were approved by RAAC and the CDLC Board of Trustees.

These grants are made possible through funding by the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases Program (RBDB).

Grants Closed

The Capital District Library Council has closed the 2021 round of Regional Collections grants. All CDLC member institutions, including individual public and school libraries, were eligible to apply.

Formerly known as Retrospective Conversion, Metadata, and Digitization (RBDB) grants, CDLC members applied for grants for a retrospective conversion or metadata project; a digital collection grant to contribute content to New York Heritage, or a digital newspaper grant to contribute content to NYS Historic Newspapers.

Projects considered for funding should improve access to collections and content or raise the visibility of regional collections.

Priority was given to projects that:

  • Highlight undiscovered collections in our region
  • Align with CDLC's strategic goals (see our Plan of Service)
  • Have matching funds
  • Are collaborative efforts between two or more CDLC members
  • Are composed of a complete digital collection
  • Are submitted by first-time applicants
  • Are composed of long and complete runs of newspapers that are on microfilm

Other types of proposals were considered.

Applications were welcome from recipients of an earlier round of Regional Collections Grants. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2022 or award money will be forfeited.

Past winners and projects are listed here.

For newspapers, if the title includes papers published after 1923, copyright clearance must be obtained. More information about copyright clearance can be found on the NYS Historic Newspapers tools page under “Additional Contribution Information” at

Grant applicants are required to submit a final report describing how they expended the funds and the number of records converted or enhanced or the number of items digitized. Libraries may be asked to describe their project in a CDLC publication or present at a CDLC event.

A subcommittee of CDLC’s Regional Automation Advisory Committee reviewed applications and presented recommendations to the CDLC Board of Trustees who approved the applications.

This grant is funded through the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases (RBDB) Program. Established in 1984 as part of New York State Education Law, funds from this program may be used for a variety of purposes to support regional resource sharing and automation that follow the New York State RBDB Guidelines. Review these guidelines which include the criteria for the areas in which we are awarding grants, as well as expenses not allowed.

Contact Amy Hren ( with any questions about the application process.

Thank you for your interest in making your collection more visible and accessible!

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Phone: 518-438-2500