Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) announces 2019 Project Grant recipient


The Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to present the 2019 VRAF Project Grant in the amount of $3000 to Arden Kirkland, creator of the CostumeCore Toolkit, and Adjunct Professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.

The CostumeCore Toolkit project will provide a toolkit to users, in order to streamline the process of setting up standards-based, interoperable metadata for collections related to the study of historic clothing. The VRAF Project Grant will allow Ms. Kirkland to update current templates in CSV/Excel formats, create plug-ins for Omeka S, templates and vocabulary for JSTOR Forum, and provide RDF extensions of VRA Core, incorporate AAT/EFT Uniform Resource Identifiers in CostumeCore, and create plugins and modules to support micro-thesauri for linked data. The CostumeCore Toolkit is currently utilized at Smith College and Vassar College, and will continue to be built-out with CostumeCoreToolkit user testing with those Colleges, Visual Resources Association members, and Costume Society of America members input and feedback. The project will allow the CC Toolkit to be available to the public under a Creative Commons BY- SA license.

In accordance with its mission to support broad access to visual information, the VRAF is pleased to support a project that extends metadata schemas and standards, and dissemination of templates about visual culture into expanded fields of inquiry.

VRA Foundation Project Grant

The VRA Foundation’s Project Grant supports projects in the field of visual resources and image management.  One grant is available in the spring 2019 cycle with up to $3,000 to be awarded.  The funds may be used for stand-alone projects, pilots or start-up financing for larger projects, or for a component of a larger project.  Collaborative projects and those proposed by groups, whether or not affiliated with an organization or institution, are encouraged.  Of particular interest are innovative projects with results that can have a broad impact and be shared with the global community.  Categories to be considered for funding would include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

  • Metadata for Visual Media
  • Visual Media Cataloguing Standards
  • Visual Media Data Standards
  • Digitization Projects of Special or Unique Collections (Educational Institutions, Libraries, Museums)
  • Visual Literacy
  • Technology Development for Visual Media Management and Pedagogy
  • Intellectual Property Rights

The project must be completed within one year from the time the grant is formally accepted. The grant will be disbursed in two increments: $1500 at the start of the granting period, and $1500 pending the submission of a mid-project progress report. A final report, including a financial statement, on how the funds contributed to the project is due within one month of the project’s completion. Failure to complete the proposed project may result in the grantee returning the funds.

The VRA Foundation has United States Internal Revenue Service status as a 501c3 non-profit entity. All elements of a proposed project must be performed within the legal parameters of United States local, regional, and federal government requirements. International applications are welcome from institutions or individuals provided applicant institutions have the equivalent of US non-profit status and applicant individuals have a similar non-profit, educational purpose.


  • Applicants should be working in the field of visual resources and image management, and may include retirees, those currently unemployed, or students.
  • Membership in the Visual Resources Association is not required.
  • Other applications for funding for the same project must be disclosed.
  • Former recipients of the grant are not eligible for a period of two years following their most recent award.

Grant monies may be used for:

  • Salaries and labor costs
  • Transportation costs
  • Cost of Materials (grants generally do not fund the purchase of office and other/related equipment)
  • Other appropriate expenses (as approved by VRAF)

Grant monies may not be used to cover indirect costs at institutions

Application and Review Cycle

The application and review cycle is currently closed and will reopen in Spring 2020.

If you have further questions about the Project Grant Program or the application process, please contact the VRA Foundation Board of Directors at

Previous Project Grant Recipients

2018 Project Grant Recipient

James Sobczak, Digital Imaging Assistant II, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

The VRAF Project Grant will allow University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design to digitize a collection donation of 26,800+ 35mm slides from Patricia Young, which will provide a stipend to graduate student employees. The PYC Collection will be housed in their MDID collection, which crosswalks with CONTENTdm for further outreach to researchers worldwide. This project will also allow the PYC Collection graduate student workers to improve upon the GIS linking of images, network mapping of metadata, and semantic query integration.

2016 Project Grant Recipient

Stephanie Norby, Director Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

This pilot project allowed The Smithsonian Institution Learning Lab ( to explore the process of creating science-based digital resource collections and to develop a series of best practices for the development of future digital science instructional resources. The grant supported collaborative efforts with high school instructors to create vetted teaching collections which reflect both the strengths of the Smithsonian’s science collections and the pedagogical needs of secondary educators.

2015 Project Grant Recipients
Fatemeh Baigmoradi, M.F.A Student, University of New Mexico, Documenting Iranian Artists
This project will expand upon a developing digital archive of the works of contemporary Iranian artists, with plans to share the images with the scholarly community via either ArtStor or Shared Shelf Commons.

Sheryl Frisch, Visual Resources Specialist, California Polytechnic State University &
Greg Reser, Metadata Specialist, University of California San Diego, MetaShotPpt 3
This project will develop a new, stand-alone version of MetaShotPpt, an application that transfers embedded metadata into PowerPoint. This version will work on both Mac and Windows platforms, and will include all of the updated features currently available only in the Mac version. The new version of MetaShotPpt will be developed using Visual Studio.

2014 Project Grant Recipients
Krystle Kelley, University of Colorado-Boulder, Digitizing the Ronald Bernier Image Archive

Matthias Arnold, Heidelberg Institute, VRA Core XML Transform Tool

2013 Project Grants
Amanda Rybin, University of Chicago, MetaShotPpt 2

Christopher Strasbaugh, Vanderbilt University, DIMLI: Digital Image Management Library

2012 Project Grants
Leslie Cade, Cleveland Museum of Art, CMA:  Analog Master Negatives Digitization Project

Meghan Petersen, Currier Museum of Art, Currier Bulletins Digitization Project