DENTON, Texas (UNT) -- The University of North Texas Libraries is asking for the public's help to receive a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over the next five years, the university is tasked with raising $1.5 million – funds that would expand an endowment for the library's most popular resource: the Portal to Texas History website. To donate, visit the NEH Challenge Grant website.
The portal provides free public access and acts as digital storage space for millions of the state's historical materials. The site makes it easy to access materials -- from war photos and government documents to rare maps and old newspapers -- that would otherwise be tucked away in libraries and museums, and thereby would only be accessible to teachers, schoolchildren, historians and community members who lived nearby or could travel to the libraries and museums.
Each year, more than 6 million users from around the world tap into the site's 7.5 million files, which include:
- More than 11,000 investigation records, photographs and hand-written journals related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Documents are housed online in the John F. Kennedy Memorial Collection and Dallas Police Department Historical Records/Case Files.
- The landmark archive of the first television news program in Texas, as shown through photos, video and scripts from 1948 to 1980. The NBC 5/KXAS (WBAP) Television News Collection documents historical news events throughout North Texas and the development of broadcast news.
- The José L. Castillo Photograph Collection, the John J. Herrera Papers and the Texas Cultures Online Collection, which highlight the Latino community through art, political events, protests and other events.
- The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Collection, which features posters, programs, video recordings and photos that showcase Academy Award nominees, Grammy winners, jazz musicians and other entertainers.
- Maps, census records, news clippings and photographs that can assist amateurs and professionals with genealogy research.