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The history of the Depression era in Buffalo and Western New York will gain a little more attention – and likely become more accessible to the public – thanks to a new leadership grant awarded to the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library system.

The grant, just under $320,000, was made by the Institute of Museum & Library Services, which awards leadership grants nationally. The federal agency also awarded grants to 51 other museums and libraries across the country, library officials said.

The funding directed to Buffalo is intended as a two-year grant, library officials said, to fund an ongoing project known as “The Public Library as Digitized Commons – A Demonstration Project.” The project got started in 2009.

The goal of the project is to create a first-ever catalog of resources related to Buffalo’s history from the 1920s and 1930s, according to library officials.

An aim of the project is to make the region’s Depression-era history accessible and searchable for the public, and to connect the public with this history in new ways.

“This project will generate deeper collaborations, new types of access to library and regional resources, and new ways to share the stories of our local heritage,” Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski said in a statement.

The Institute for Museum & Library Services is a source of federal support for 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums across the country.

email: cvogel@buffnews.com