Hood College Archive Awarded Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Mini Grant

Mini grant to aid in College’s efforts in digitizing microfilm, preserving Hood history

The Hood College Archive has been awarded a grant of $4,000 from the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (HCWHA) to support a microfilm digitization project that aims to preserve historic Hood publications. 

The project intends to digitize microfilm containing historic Hood publications dating back to the College’s first years of existence in the late 1800s, including student newspapers, campus and alumni magazines, yearbooks, Frederick Female Seminary catalogs and more.

Once digitized, the publications will undergo optical character recognition (OCR) scanning, allowing the publications’ text to be recognized with a digital image and converted to an electronic copy. Following OCR scanning, the publications will be made available for free online, allowing users to search local history topics and conduct genealogical research with greater ease.

The collection of Hood publications will be available online by December 2024 at the latest.

Copies of 'The Lesbian Herald,' a Hood news and literary publication dating back to the 1910s.

“This mini grant enables Hood College to begin an inaugural digitization program of its important and historic publications,” said Mary Atwell, Hood College archivist and collections development librarian. “By offering the publications online, Hood will add critical material for scholars studying women in higher education as well as valuable information for genealogical researchers.” 

“Local history is a vital part of the planning for the upcoming 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and the HCWHA is helping Hood make a substantial contribution to the rich local historical documents available in Frederick County. We are grateful and excited for the funding of this project.”

Volumes of Hood publications stored on microfilm.

The HCWHA is an independent, nonprofit organization under the Maryland Heritage Areas Program, covering portions of Carroll, Frederick and Washington Counties. The organization aims to preserve and promote historic sites, towns, cultural landscapes and diverse stories in Carroll, Frederick and Washington County, Maryland.

“There are so many stories contained in archival collections; finding and sharing these stories allows us to engage meaningfully with the past,” said Emily Huebner, director of operations for the HCWHA


“By preserving vulnerable documents and making them accessible,” Huebner continued, “this project will preserve part of the history of Hood College and the Frederick Female Seminary, and it will contribute to a more complete understanding of the larger story of the three-county region that makes up the HCWHA: Carroll, Frederick, and Washington Counties.”

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