Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have always represented a fundamental part of cultural development and education in the United States.

 Established by the Higher Education Act of 1965, an HBCU is any historically accredited black college or university that was established prior to 1964 with the mission of educating Black Americans.

In partnership with the Getty Family and Stand Together, the Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for HBCUs Program commits $500,000 to digitize HBCU photographic archives

This new grant series offers HBCUs the opportunity to digitize their valuable visual history for the benefit of students, professors and the public— increasing access to unique imagery and bringing awareness to untold stories.
Montage of historical HBCU images
Engage with Visual History
The Getty Images Photo Archive Grant supports HBCUs' commitment to preserving their visual history. Rarely seen moments in history will be digitized to share their historical impact with generations to come.

Dating back to the 1800s of campus life, notable alumni, student activism, and rarely seen photos of historical figures who have visited HBCUs during key moments of American history. We will also celebrate the work of photographers including Cecil J. Williams, Alexander McAllister Rivera, Elnora Teal, and Arthur Chester Teal.

Read more about this legacy ›
Our inaugural recipients are Claflin University, Jackson State University, North Carolina Central University, and Prairie View A&M University.

Over the next few months, Getty Images will partner with photo archivists at each HBCU to make over 100,000 archival and contemporary photos more accessible to the world.  
These images will be available for licensing in the new Historically Black Colleges and Universities Collection on www.gettyimages.com. All revenue generated from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Collection will impact the program—effectively providing each HBCU with a new revenue stream and support scholarships for students attending HBCUs. Every school will retain full copyright ownership of their photography.
Commentary from our Grant Recipients

"We are enormously grateful to receive the Getty Images Photo Digitization Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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."

—President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, Claflin University

"Jackson State University is honored to be a recipient of the inaugural Getty Images photo digitization grant, which will provide the critical resources needed to help us create a digital archive of thousands of photographs in our collection.

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. Thank you to Getty Images, the Getty family and Stand Together for providing this generous support."

—President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., Jackson State University

“North Carolina Central University’s rich history, vibrant culture and steady growth over the past 111 years have been captured through images. The generous investment by Getty Images will offer new, technologically enhanced and advanced ways in which we, as a leading Historically Black University, can further tell our story.
A strategic partnership with the world’s largest visual storytelling and preservation company is one that will strengthen and elevate the importance of digitizing our important photographic collections that document the history of NCCU and other HBCUs that are institutional gems to our nation. The collaboration also trains the next generation of librarians, archivists and public historians who will work with these priceless collections.”

—Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., Chancellor of North Carolina Central University

"This assistance is timely and important to the preservation of the unique history of our 145‑year‑old university.

We are grateful to Getty Images for valuing the preservation of these images."

—Ruth J. Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University
Securing the Future
We recognize the power of imagery. A single photo can encompass a lifetime of experiences that help shape the world. By licensing images from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Collection, you are supporting HBCUs' commitment to preserving their history and contributing to scholarships for their students.

All licensing fees impact the Grants Program:
  • 50% of the licensing fees go to the HBCU Grant Recipient
  • 30% will support scholarships for HBCU students each year
  • The remaining 20% will be reinvested in the Getty Images Photo Archives Grants for HBCUs

Visit the Grants Page for updates and announcements ›
Image of a student

Our Partnerships