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Seward Family Archive at UR receives National Archives grant

The University of Rochester said Tuesday it has been awarded a national grant of nearly $100,000 in a project designed to preserve history.

The Seward Family Archive, a digital humanities project that is a collaboration between the Department of History and the River Campus Libraries, has received a two-year grant totaling some $97,000 from the National Archives Literacy and Engagement with Historical Records Program.

Thomas Slaughter, a professor of history and director of the project, said the grant would be used to expand the collaboration with volunteers from the Highlands at Pittsford retirement community and retired university staff and librarians.

It also will help implement the collaboration as a model for community-engaged teaching and learning, he added.

The students and volunteers began their partnership this past academic year. They work to transcribe, annotate and tag personal letters of President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward, his wife, Frances Miller Seward, their family and friends from roughly 1820 to 1873.

The funding will support a graduate student to manage the collaboration and up to six undergraduate editors each year, officials said.

In addition to the National Archives grant, the Friends of the University Libraries has provided a $3,000 gift being used this summer to support the work of an undergraduate transcriber and annotator and a graduate student editor of letters between Seward family members and the radical abolitionist Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.

(c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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