Financial assistance for digitization and online publication of scholarly texts


Note: TFAO is not accepting applications for financial assistance at this time.


During recent years foundations and other sources have provided funds to digitize images of art works in museum collections. In some instances the images have been made available for free viewing online, as described here. Less emphasis has been placed on digitizing paper-published scholarly texts owned by museums. Relatively few museums have paced these texts online for free viewing. Free public online access to sought after texts both in print and out of print is of special interest to TFAO.

TFAO is interested in providing to museums funding towards online publication of paper-printed texts that critique, interpret and add to the body of knowledge of American representational art. Biographies of artists and scholarship on related topics are both of interest.

Beyond, and not related to, TFAO's own services of free online publication of texts, funds may be provided by TFAO to museums for:

1. support of museum cooperation with Google Books -- and/or organizations other than TFAO providing similar services -- in order to provide permanent online free "full view" access to TFAO-approved exhibition catalogues in instances where copyrights to texts are owned by the museum. A Google "full view" book may be read in its entirety online. For the Google Books publishers' program, costs may include obtaining ISBN numbers, excerpting copyrighted images within books, shipping charges, plus other expenses. A museum may elect to work with Google Books, or similar providers, to provide "full view" availability to recently-published catalogues in addition to those out of print. [1]
2. creation of a durable page in the museum's web site, if needed, to contain hyperlinks to converted texts.
3. in instances where museum cooperation with Google Books -- or organizations other than TFAO providing similar services -- is not feasible, support of museum staff and intern expenses in providing text conversion, proofreading, formatting and online publishing on a permanent basis, or alternately, contracting with outside services for those functions. [2]



Grants will be provided upon these conditions:

1. converted text relates to American representational art;
2. the museum sends a letter of inquiry by email to TFAO, and unless waived, conducts a self-assessment prior to application and upon TFAO's acceptance of the letter of inquiry, the museum and TFAO work together on further steps leading to project funding;
3. a museum commitment is made for permanent linking from its own web site to pages containing related texts on any web site to facilitate ease of free public access to the texts;
4. text is permanently available online, free to the public, within the museum's web site in HTML format and/or in Google Books -- or like service -- using that service's format or formats, and accessible through public search engines;
5. if the museum performs its own digitizing and online placement on its website, and does not cooperate with Google Book Search and/or organizations other than TFAO providing similar services, museum will then agree to provide a copy of its digitized text to TFAO in .doc format using the text presentation conventions in Resource Library's content presentation guidelines so that TFAO may convert it to HTML and co-publish the text in order to provide a backup resource for free and permanent access;
6. texts for inclusion in the grant be agreed upon in advance by TFAO and the museum.

Additional funding

TFAO has co-funding relationships with other sources of funds. Please contact TFAO to learn more about these sources.


Other information

Google says as of August, 2008 on its Google Book Search Help Center page with the topic How can I get my library involved?: "We may expand our program to include special collections from libraries both in the U.S. and other countries. If you want to let us know about your library's special collection, please email us at and include the size of your collection, specialization or unique content, how much of your content is already digital, and what languages it includes." Google has a list of library partners with which it has contracted to digitize books. When clicking on the links to pages on each of the listed library websites, contact information is available at the libraries. TFAO may be willing to assist libraries of art museums in defraying the costs associated with partnering with Google for its Google Books Library Project.

Please see TFAO's pages on acquisition and deselection of content for its digital library, non-profit and commercial digitizing initiatives, and related methods and costs. Also please see benefits to museums and the public flowing from TFAO's Resource Library's online publication service.

TFAO offers an Institutional Sources Study Project which may be of interest to individual staff members The Institutional Sources Study Project has similar objectives to the grant program. For more information about this project please click here.

TFAO has no financial relationship with Google or other commercial or non-profit search entity and does not plan to seek such a relationship.



1. For example, as of June, 2008 the Hudson River Museum has arranged for Google Books to provide free "full views" for three newly-published catalogues within TFAO's area of interest. Images of art objects were deleted in the online pages. The three catalogues are:

TFAO understands that the Hudson River Museum may continue its relationship with Google Books to provide free "full view" availability of other new catalogues plus selected catalogues published on paper in prior years.

Regarding examples of other providers of digitizing services, as of July 2008, TFAO is aware or several non-profit organizations other than TFAO that digitize and place online books at no cost for reading free of charge by the public. Please see digitizing initiatives for a list.

2. For reference, TFAO's Institutional Sources Study Project provides a template for contractors to provide text conversion services for Web publishing and could serve as a template for a grant. For more information about this project please click here. Also please see methods and costs for cost studies conducted by TFAO.


Go back to Financial Assistance Programs

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other Web sites and in employing referenced consultants or vendors. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although Traditional Fine Art Organization, Inc. includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over those other sites. For more information on evaluating web pages see Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc.'s General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

Search Resource Library

Copyright 2009 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.