Orangeburg, SC –  Claflin University today announced it is one four recipients of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an initiative aimed at preserving and amplifying the invaluable visual history of HBCUs.  

Funding from the grant will help digitize roughly 50,000 archival photographs from Claflin University’s library, including stories about the Charleston Hospital Workers’ Strike; the Conference of Black Mayors Collection; and photos from Briggs v. Elliott, a case that paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education. It will also expand Getty Images’ collection of renowned photojournalist and Claflin alumnus Cecil Williams to include his personal library, which Williams will help curate. Jackson State, North Carolina Central University and Prairie View A&M University were also selected as recipients of the grant. 

“We are enormously grateful to receive the Getty Images Photo Digitization Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Claflin University President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack. “This partnership will help Claflin preserve its illustrious history in photographs documenting the University’s emergence as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities.   These images provide compelling visual narratives of how Claflin’s dedicated and visionary administrators, distinguished faculty and staff, and high-achieving scholars made indelible contributions to Orangeburg, the state of South Carolina, and the world.”  

Launching today on, the “Historically Black Colleges & Universities Collection” will see thousands of images added throughout 2022. Archivists and librarians from Claflin University will work alongside Getty Images’ team of archivists and Adnet Global, a renowned post-production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries, in the photo digitization process.   

“The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs were created to honor the vast history of HBCUs and their contribution to American history,” said Cassandra Illidge, VP of Partnerships at Getty Images. We are committed to preserving the visual narrative of all cultures and communities to ensure these vital artifacts are accessible to storytellers around the world. 

Claflin University will retain all copyright of its photos and once digitized, the historical content will be placed in a newly created stand-alone Getty Images photo collection dubbed the “HBCU Photo Collection,” which will be made available for licensing in early 2022. 

All revenue generated from the images that are preserved through the Grants will be funneled back into impact programs: 50 percent will go to grant recipients; 30 percent of revenue will be used for a financial donation to a scholarship fund focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs; and 20 percent will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year. 

The applications were judged by an esteemed panel which included: 

The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is part of Getty Images’ commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, and dismantling discrimination, including bringing to market unseen historical content and creating revenue streams for organizations working to build a more inclusive society. It is part of the company’s wider grants program, which has donated over US$1.8 million to photographers and videographers around the world since its inception.