HBCUs Are Digitizing Their History for the Future

Getty Images and Epson partner to assist with scanning archival images



Mark DiMattei


Recently, Getty Images announced a partnership with Epson to provide professional photo scanners and technical training for the winners of the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Epson will provide professional-grade photo scanners to support the photo digitization process onsite at the campus of each of the Getty Images Photo Archive Grant recipients: Claflin University, Jackson State University, North Carolina Central University, and Prairie View A&M University.


The digitization process at Jackson State University began in early April, with planning for Claflin University, North Carolina Central University, and Prairie View A&M University currently underway.


President of the Denver alumni chapter, Prairie View A&M College, presents
Billie Faye Trimble with a tuition check (1960).

Source: Getty Images


The equipment used will include an Epson Expression 12000XL photo scanner, valued at $3,999 MSRP per unit. Epson’s equipment will help bring over 100,000 digitized photos to the schools, and the content captured will be available for licensing for non-commercial use. Epson will also gift one scanner to each HBCU grant recipient, as well as train university staff and students to continue digitizing their photo libraries.


Epson Expression 12000XL photo scanner


Getty Images launched the inaugural grant program in June 2021, in partnership with the Getty Family and Stand Together, committing $500,000 to digitize up to 100,000 archival photos to help preserve the invaluable photographic history of HBCUs. All revenue from the HBCUs photos on www.gettyimages.com will be distributed to HBCUs and continue impacting the Grants Program.


To help promote the digitization of archival content of HBCUs around the country, Epson announced that it will also provide up to 50 HBCUs outside of the grant program with a 50% discount on Epson’s professional-grade scanners to support their own efforts.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

HBCUs are a repository for many important moments in American history, so it’s good to see Getty Images and Epson are starting to reach out to them to help preserve parts of our past that don’t necessarily get brought up outside of Black History month. Hopefully, this initiative will lead to further efforts to capture a more rounded view of our past and make sure that all parts of America (perhaps with other marginalized groups) are preserved for the future.


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