Project CERES Call for Proposals 2021

The USAIN Preservation and Digital Library (PDL) Committee is now accepting submissions for the next round of Project Ceres. The purpose of this program is to support small projects that facilitate the preservation and retention of print serial materials essential to study the History and Economics of Agriculture and make those materials accessible electronically through digitization. The Program, which is the result of a collaboration between USAIN, AgNIC, and the Center for Research Libraries, was launched in 2013. 

The Ceres Program is intended to complement and build upon earlier preservation efforts, most notably the original NEH-funded National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature. In order to facilitate this process, the Ceres Guidelines: Bibliographies and Taxonomy of Publication Types and Titles, Land Grant University Publications document was developed to provide guidance regarding the priority of items to be considered for preservation. However, the PDL Committee recognizes that there will be instances where a deviation from the priority order set forth in the Guidelines may lead to more important materials being digitized. Please see the proposal form for further guidance.

A two-tiered proposal process will be used again for this year, with the dual purpose of 1) engaging institutions that have not undertaken major digitization projects in the past, and 2) creating a mechanism to build more strategically and systematically on prior preservation efforts. The two tiers are:

Tier 1 funding is for relatively small digitization/preservation projects and is designed to provide experiences that will prepare recipients to apply for funding for larger projects. This funding is available only to institutions who did not participate in the original NEH-funded National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature. One time monies ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 will be available for projects that fall within the scope of the Ceres project.

Tier 2 funding is available to support projects aimed at furthering the national effort to preserve historical agricultural information. Monies ranging from $7,000 to $12,000 will be available for proposals focusing on the top priorities of the Ceres project (see Ceres Guidelines, attached). A series-level bibliography of materials to be digitized, if available, should be submitted with the proposal; if one is not available, one should be developed as part of the project and submitted at the completion of the proposal year. Matching funds are required to receive Tier 2 funding.

All applicants (Tiers 1 and 2) are required to submit a budget request form along with the project proposal form. Please note that there are separate budget forms for each tier.

Budget notice: Project CERES funding can support direct costs for projects (including digitization costs, personnel salary and benefits, and other reasonable direct costs). However, the project's policies do not allow for the inclusion of indirect/overhead costs. CRL and its constituent programs provide support for projects on a cost-reimbursable basis, and should not be construed as “grants.”

Important eligibility notice: Institutions that have previously received Project Ceres funding are eligible to submit proposals for new funding in 2021, as well as new applicants.

The following seven Project Ceres documents were attached to the electronic call for proposals that was sent out via USAIN-L and other appropriate LISTSERVs in January 2021:

  1. Ceres Project Proposal Form - This 3-page form must be completed for each submission
  2. Ceres Project Budget Form for Tier 1 Proposals
  3. Ceres Project Budget Form for Tier 2 Proposals
  4. Ceres Information Form - This 4-page document includes background information about USAIN, AgNIC, and CRL as well as requirements and program information. Please read this carefully before filling out the proposal form.
  5. Ceres Guidelines: Bibliographies and Taxonomy of Publication Types and Titles, Land Grant University Publications
  6. Project Ceres Required Metadata
  7. 2021 Project Ceres Proposal Rubric

Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

Proposals including budget forms should be submitted by email to:

A presentation from the webinar for proposal writers provides helpful guidance for applicants. 

We are all very excited about this opportunity to further print preservation and retention of our threatened agricultural literature and hope you will consider submitting a Project Ceres proposal.

Project Ceres Subcommittee, USAIN Preservation and Digital Library Committee

Stephanie Ritchie, Chair

Hanwen Dong

Philip Herold

Hope Jansen

David Luftig

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