Jackson State University is one of four historically black colleges and universities to receive a grant to help preserve the impact and contributions of the schools nationwide.

University officials said funding from the . Photo Archives Grant will help with the digitization of 50,000 photos in Jackson State’s archives, including stories of activism, civil rights and police violence. The illustrations of Tracy Sugarman, as well as the Freedom Summer Photograph Collection and the Gibbs Green Memorial Collection will be among the rare photos released into the new digital collection, The Clarion Ledger reported.

“Preserving the rich culture and heritage of the African diaspora found at HBCUs is an essential step in ensuring that the stories of our ancestors are accessible to share for generations to come,” Jackson State President Thomas K. Hudson said in a statement.

Three other universities — Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, and Prairie View A&M in Prairie View, Texas — will share the $500,000 in grants with Jackson State.

Photo digitization is expected to begin by March and will take about a year to complete, officials said.

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