Diversity and Dissent: Civil Society in 20th Century America (Investment Fund)

$4,404,000Funding Goal
Funded: $348,600
Percentage Pledged/Funded: 7%
Number of Backers: 9
Funding End Date: December 31, 2021



You can view the organizations and libraries that have contributed to the Diversity and Dissent Fund here.


Please contact Peggy Glahn to make a funding commitment. Contribution rates are determined by library type. See the table in the Funding Tiers section below to determine your institution’s contribution level


A civil society is a public space between the state, the market, and the ordinary household, in which people can debate, engage, and act. This inaugural digitization fund will invest in projects that embody the civil society; those non-governmental/non-commercial organizations that helped shape and guide America through two world wars, promoted equality across gender and race, campaigned for worker rights, and voiced alternative social views that challenged and ultimately changed societal norms. Our focus will be on 20th century America with the liberty to extend the range based on the unique scope of each funded project.

While the Editorial Board will determine which projects will ultimately be funded, here are a just few examples of the types of projects that could be considered: Highlander Folk School Records, Hall-Hoag Collection of Extremist Material, Anarchist Periodicals, the Daily Worker Archive, Student Unrest Collection, Feminist Letters, Music Zines, and the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Files.


Reveal Digital’s investment fund model reflects an alternative approach to funding collaborative collection building which places the well-being of the library community at its core.  By spreading the costs across a wide base of supporting libraries, Reveal Digital will work with the library community to create large and impactful digital collections at dramatically lower investment levels when compared to what libraries would pay in licensing fees if these same collections were offered under traditional publishing models.  It also helps, in a very proactive way, with the identification and stewardship of key cultural collections in order to keep them firmly rooted in the public domain.

Under this model, libraries commit to multi-year investments to a common fund which, at the direction of an editorial board selected by the contributing libraries, will be invested in digitizing the highest priority projects that meet the thematic focus of the fund.  As with the original model, the ultimate goal of the investment fund will be to create open access collections that help improve access to culturally important material.


Reveal Digital is directed with the assistance of an Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee are asked to serve two-year terms. New members are selected by the Executive Committee from a pool of candidates proposed by Sustaining libraries. Sustaining libraries will also be canvassed to identify candidates for the Editorial Board associated with each investment fund. The Editorial Board will refine the scope of its investment fund and review/recommend projects for funding and support.


Any Sustaining or Contributing library will be able to propose projects for consideration for funding as long as it fits the theme of the fund. A form, to be completed by the proposing library, will be developed to collect and summarize key descriptive elements for a project. Sustaining member libraries will then be able to assign votes (100 per library) to the list of proposed projects. Libraries will also be able to re-allocate their votes periodically as new projects are submitted or in response to ‘live’ voting tallies.

Those projects that reach a threshold voting level will then have a detailed cost prospectus created by Reveal Digital that examines and summarizes the project’s costs, including: sourcing, rights clearance, conversion, hosting, and digital preservation. The Editorial Board will meet periodically to review each prospectus, prioritize projects, and allocate funding accordingly.

Each project will have a common set of conversion standards, such that all of the digital collections produced by the fund will be cross searchable and accessible for data mining.


For the initial five-year funding period, participating libraries will be asked to make non-binding commitments for annual contributions to the Civil Society Investment Fund at the suggested funding levels shown below. These funding levels have been tiered based on library type.

Libraries able to make a funding commitment at or above the suggested level will be Sustaining Members, while libraries who want to support open access publishing but are unable to invest at the suggested levels will be Contributing Members.

Library Type Suggested Yearly Contribution
ACADEMIC (Based on Carnegie Classification)  
2 yr colleges and Special Colleges $2,400
Bachelors and Other Masters (M2 + M3) $3,600
Large Masters and Other Doctorate (M1 + R3) $4,800
Doctoral: Higher Research (R2) $7,200
Doctoral: Highest Research (R1) $9,600
PUBLIC (Pop. Served)  
Less than 50,000 $600
50,000-100,000 $1,200
100,000-500,000 $2,400
500,000-1,000,000 $3,600
More than 1,000,000 $7,200


Libraries may invest in the fund at one of two levels, Sustaining or Contributing. Sustaining and Contributing libraries receive a unique set of benefits associated with their level of funding support.

Sustaining Members – invest at or above the suggested funding level

  • Nominate projects for digitization with a vote on prioritizing projects for funding
  • MARC records and usage reports for digitized collections
  • Full voting privileges for prioritizing projects and nominating Executive Committee and Editorial Board members
  • Option to participate on committees and working groups
  • Unlimited text and data mining requests (no fee)

Contributing Members – invest below the suggested funding level

  • Nominate projects for digitization with no vote on prioritizing projects for funding
  • MARC records and usage reports for digitized collections
  • Text and data mining requests (for a fee)


The total value of the fund over the initial five-year period is forecasted to be $4,404,000. The chart below displays the breakdown of the fund between fixed cost items over that five-year period and the amount of the fund that will be available for digitization projects. By year five, nearly two-thirds of the annual fund value will be available for project-based investments.

Five-Year Cumulative Fund Expenses, 2017-2021


Leave a Reply