Digitization grants for 2020 were recently announced by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Digitization Grants of Interest to Genealogists

  • Unified Court Systems of New York State to support digitizing and making available freely online over 400,000 naturalization records (1794-1952) from the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx. The project will work with the New York City Public Library’s Queens and Bronx branches and with history students recruited by St. John’s University to transcribe additional metadata.
  • Mississippi State University to support the Lantern Project, a collaborative effort which focuses on the records that illuminate the experience of persons sold “down river” as part of the slave trade conducted on the Mississippi River. The project which will identify, digitize, transcribe and index legal records of enslaved persons held by Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, Delta State University, Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, the Natchez Historical Foundation, and the Montgomery County (AL) Archives.
  • Library of Virginia to support a project to enhance the website Virginia Untold: the African-American Experience by adding digitized Registers of Free Blacks (1793-1865) from 19 localities in the Commonwealth, along with five additional Registers held by Arlington County. In addition, the project will arrange, describe, and digitize records relating to free blacks from the City of Richmond.


The National Archives works in concert with the National Historical Records and Publications Commission to award these digitization grants annually. Congress established the NHPRC grants program to promote the preservation and use of America’s documentary heritage. Learn More about NHPRC here.

The NHPRC supports projects to:

  • research and develop means to preserve authentic electronic records
  • assist archives through a network of state partners
  • preserve and make accessible records and archives
  • publish papers documenting America’s founding era
  • publish papers documenting other eras and topics important to an understanding of American history
  • improve professional education for archivists and historical documentary editors

Keep an eye out for progress on these major new collections made possible by NARA digitization grants for 2020. And for more on digital collections for genealogy, click here.