Jackson State University Selected as Recipient of Getty Images Grant to Uncover and Digitize Rarely Seen Imagery from its Archival Photographic Library

(JACKSON, Miss.) –  Jackson State University today announced it is one four recipients of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an initiative aimed at preserving and amplifying the invaluable visual history of HBCUs.

Funding from the grant will support the digitization of roughly 50,000 archival photographs from Jackson State’s library, including stories of activism, literary and performing arts, civil rights and police violence, education, and portraitures of women teachers. It will also feature images of the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival and the illustrations of Tracy Sugarman, as well as the Freedom Summer Photograph Collection and the Gibbs Green Memorial Collection. Claflin University, North Carolina Central University and Prairie View A&M University were also selected as recipients of the grant.

Thomas K. Hudson, president of Jackson State University. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

“Jackson State University is honored to be a recipient of the inaugural Getty Images photo digitization grant, which will provide the critical resources needed to help us create a digital archive of thousands of photographs in our collection,” said Thomas K. Hudson, J.D, president of Jackson State University. “Preserving the rich culture and heritage of the African diaspora found at HBCU’s is an essential step in ensuring that the stories of our ancestors are accessible to share for generations to come. Thank you to Getty Images, the Getty family and Stand Together for providing this generous support.”

Launching today on gettyimages.com, the “Historically Black Colleges & Universities Collection” will see thousands of images added throughout 2022. Archivists and librarians from Jackson State University will work alongside Getty Images’ team of archivists and Adnet Global, a renowned post-production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries, in the photo digitization process.  

“The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs were created to honor the vast history of HBCUs and their contribution to American history,” said Cassandra Illidge, VP of Partnerships at Getty Images. We are committed to preserving the visual narrative of all cultures and communities to ensure these vital artifacts are accessible to storytellers around the world.

Jackson State University will retain all copyright of its photos and once digitized, the historical content will be placed in a newly created stand-alone Getty Images photo collection dubbed the “HBCU Photo Collection,” which will be made available for licensing in early 2022.

JSU is preserving its cultural history and legacy through a Getty Images grant for HBCUs.

All revenue generated from the images that are preserved through the Grants will be funneled back into impact programs: 50 percent will go to grant recipients; 30 percent of revenue will be used for a financial donation to a scholarship fund focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs; and 20 percent will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year.

The applications were judged by an esteemed panel which included:

The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is part of Getty Images’ commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, and dismantling discrimination including bringing to market unseen historical content and creating revenue streams for organizations working to build a more inclusive society. It is part of the company’s wider grants program, which has donated over US $1.8 million to photographers and videographers around the world since its inception.