Encyclopedia of Alabama awarded National Humanities Challenge Grant

AUBURN – The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $425,000 Challenge Grant to the Encyclopedia of Alabama, a free online resource on Alabama’s history, culture and natural environment. The Encyclopedia of Alabama was one of 215 humanities projects named in the federal agency’s recent announcement of $21 million in grants nationwide and the only Alabama project selected in its most recent award cycle.

“The Encyclopedia of Alabama is a remarkable humanities project and its online format makes it an especially beneficial resource for Alabama’s students and educators,” said Royrickers Cook, assistant vice president for University Outreach, where the editorial offices are located. “This National Endowment for the Humanities grant is an opportunity to create an endowment that will enable the Encyclopedia of Alabama to adapt to and take advantage of technological advancements in the years to come.”

National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grants are designed to strengthen the humanities by encouraging non-federal sources of support and helping institutions secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. The Encyclopedia of Alabama is required to match the grant on a three-to-one basis over the next five years.

“The Challenge Grant application process is very competitive and the Encyclopedia of Alabama’s application was one of only 21 that were awarded this cycle,” said Cook. “It is significant that the premier multimedia resource for information about Alabama was one of the few selected.”

The Encyclopedia of Alabama launched in September 2008 and has 1,280 entries related to Alabama’s history, politics, agriculture, arts, folk life, sports and more. New articles are added each month. The Encyclopedia of Alabama is similar to a traditional print encyclopedia, with its emphasis on authoritative content based on sound scholarship. The online format makes it a modern reference tool offering video, audio, graphics and hyperlinks. More than two million visitors from all 50 states and more than 200 countries and territories have accessed the site.

To visit the site, go to www.EncyclopediaofAlabama.org.

(Contributed by Laura Hill)

Laura Hill, Encyclopedia of Alabama, (334) 844-4008 (hilllau@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)