Columbia University’s Amistad Project Receives Ford Foundation Support

NEW YORK, May 15, 2008 Columbia University Libraries and Columbia University’s Center for Contemporary Black History (CCBH) have received a grant for $149,100 from the Ford Foundation to further develop The Amistad Digital Resource for Teachers (

The Amistad Digital Resource is a unique multimedia resource that combines hundreds of rare and iconic photographs, audio recordings, film clips, and excerpts of oral history interviews with a descriptive narrative text explaining significant themes and key events in African-American history, from slavery to the twenty-first century. The Amistad Digital Resource enhances teachers’ ability to teach African-American history as a fundamental part of the overall narrative of the United States.

When complete, The Amistad Digital Resource will have nine teaching and learning “modules,” each covering a distinct chronological period. The first module covers the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, 1954-1975.

The Ford Foundation generously provided the funding in 2007 to develop the prototype for The Amistad Digital Resource.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at is the gateway to its services and resources.

Columbia University’s Center for Contemporary Black History (CCBH) promotes the critical study of black history, culture, and politics within urban America since 1900, with an emphasis on understanding the central role of black intellectuals and public leaders in the making of modern society. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the Center utilizes the educational and research tools of both traditional disciplines and new media technology to organize and enrich the study of contemporary black American history.

05/15/08 LMK