Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI awarded grant to expand capacity for online digital collections

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Oct. 19, 2022

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has received a federal grant to expand its storage capacity for online digital collections by more than 600 percent.

The grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will expand SHI’s storage capabilities to manage more than 300 terabytes of materials, including digitized photos, videos and other archival documents.

The new system will also streamline the process of uploading digital materials to SHI’s online database, making them more readily accessible to researchers worldwide at any time.

Under the award, SHI will also revamp its digital preservation policy to ensure archival practices are based on the most current professional standards and incorporate the next generation of preservation guidelines, said SHI President Rosita Worl.

“We currently operate a state-of-the-art facility and employ professionals who use best practices to care for our collections. But, technology is always evolving, and we’re evolving with it to ensure our methods are founded on the most up-to-date standards,” Worl said.

SHI’s capacity to store and manage archival documents is an essential element of its mission to perpetuate and enhance Native culture, art and history. 

“Our collection of documents, videos and media material related to language instruction and education curriculum has been growing exponentially in recent years and we want to be certain educators and instructors have access,” Worl said.      

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MN-251880-OMS-22.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Kathy Dye, SHI Communications and Publications Deputy Director, 907.321.4636,

Caption: SHI’s Director of Archives and Collections Emily Pastore in the institute’s archives. Note: News outlets are welcome to use this photo for coverage of this story. For a higher-res image, contact