In recognition of the significance and preservation needs of collections held by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided grant funding to support a series of three HBCU Preservation Projects. These projects have been administered by LYRASIS in partnership with the HBCU Library Alliance, the Art Conservation Department at the University of Delaware, the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, and the Image Permanence Institute.

HBCUs hold extensive, important archival collections that document the African-American experience from Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Era. These three projects have focused primarily on photographic and audiovisual collections. They have provided support for the repair and re-housing of materials, reformatting of selected items, preservation training for staff, summer internships, and environmental monitoring of collection areas.

Sixteen HBCU institutions participated in Rounds 1 and 2 of the project from 2007 to 2013 and focused their work on photographic collections. Five of those institutions returned to participate in Round 3 which ran from 2014 to 2016 and expanded the focus to include audiovisual collections as well.

​​​​Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation​​​
​​HBCU Library Alliance​​
​​Image Permanence Institute​​