JUNE 17, 2021 — The New York Public Library (NYPL) has received a $12.5 million grant from Arcadia (www.arcadiafund.org.uk), a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Library Trustee Peter Baldwin, towards a significant investment in the Library's digital transformation. The grant will support the Library's efforts to improve patrons' ability to discover, request, and access in digital format, a copy of almost any book through its online platform. Since 2013, Arcadia has awarded $19 million to the NYPL for projects that provide open access to research and scholarly materials.
The grant also allows the Library to make important investments in technology, accessibility improvements, and the development of new policies and agreements to support partnerships and collaboration with libraries around the world. The new grant builds upon the Library's recent work to create a universally available catalog for digitized research books and reinforces its goal to provide free and equitable access to knowledge and information.
During the first weeks of the COVID-19 shut down, the Library rapidly launched a new collections interface, Digital Research Books BETA, which allowed readers and researchers instant access to digitized materials that had previously been distributed across collections in multiple locations. This project, supported by a previous grant from Arcadia Fund, vastly increased the scholarly publications and research books made available to the public by the Library, and also identified an array of challenges related to the use of different editions and formats that require additional consideration, solutions and support. The new grant will tackle these issues and identify opportunities for the future.
About Arcadia Fund
Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $777 million to projects around the world.
About The New York Public Library
For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.