The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) has made a group commitment to support the new Reveal Digital publishing program Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movements. All 15 member libraries are participating in this agreement, which totals more than $500,000.

Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movements is a three-year program that will bring libraries and archives together to develop, fund and digitize primary source collections on the histories of civil rights activism by the everyday citizens of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. These important historical materials will be available on an Open Access basis, making them freely available to anyone who wishes to use them.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Reveal Digital to uncover a collection that chronicles such a significant time in American history,” says Maurice York, Director of Library Initiatives at the Big Ten Academic Alliance. “Two primary goals of the BTAA are open access scholarship and elevating marginalized and unheard voices. This significant and worthy project strengthens both and aligns with our vision to advance an equitable academic ecosystem through collective effort.”

“Reveal Digital would not be where we are today without the sustaining support and leadership of the BTAA libraries,” comments Peggy Glahn, Associate Director, Reveal Digital.“The contribution from the BTAA libraries, and more that will join them in the coming months, will be invested in bringing to light many stories of unheralded individuals that made the Civil Rights Movement an unstoppable force for good. The artifacts that help tell those stories have been faithfully preserved by institutions small and large. The Behind the Scenes program aims to extend their institutional stewardship in a way that opens their material to everyone, affirms their ownership and ensures digital preservation for generations to come. In the end, we hope to build collections that inspire and deepen our appreciation of the courage, resolve and wisdom embodied by everyday people determined to transform society.”

BTAA is a long-time collaborator and supporter of Reveal Digital. In addition to funding, BTAA libraries have contributed thousands of pages of source material for collections like Independent Voices and Student Activism, and its member institution librarians have provided wise counsel through their active participation on the Reveal Digital Executive Committee, Editorial Board and various advisory panels.

“We are deeply grateful for the BTAA partnership in carrying out our mission,” added Glahn. “And we are especially thankful today for all the BTAA libraries who collectively have provided the solid financial foundation necessary to advance Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movements and ensure the voices of everyday activists are heard.”

About the Big Ten Academic Alliance
The Big Ten Academic Alliance is the nation’s preeminent model for effective collaboration among research universities. For more than half a century, these world-class institutions have advanced their academic missions, generated unique opportunities for students and faculty, and served the common good by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources, and collaborating on innovative programs. Governed and funded by the Provosts of the member universities, Big Ten Academic Alliance mandates are coordinated by a staff from its Champaign, Illinois headquarters.

About Reveal Digital
Reveal Digital, a service of JSTOR, develops Open Access primary source collections through contributions from a wide array of libraries, museums, historical societies, and individual collectors. It produces diverse thematic collections by bringing together fragmented documentary material from underrepresented 20th century voices of dissent. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit with a mission to improve access to knowledge and education for people around the world.