NEH Preservation Grants at Kalamazoo College


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  • Founded 1833Liberal artsUndergraduate onlyAbout 1372 studentsLibrary renovated in 2006
  • History of the CollegeNo local history collection – college history onlyOne part time Archivist Two student assistantsHoused in the LibraryWorkroom, storage area, off site storage
  • “Help small and mid-sized institutions…preserve and care for their significant humanities collections.”Can ask for an expert to assess collection or address a problem, orIf collection already assessed, can ask for assistance to purchase furniture or storage supplies, orEducation and trainingFund 41% of requests in the last five years
  • Application narratives, budgets on NEH websiteGRANT NARRATIVE QUESTIONSWhat activities would the grant support? What are the content and size of the collections? How are the collections used? What is the nature and mission of your institution?Has your institution ever had a preservation or conservation assessment? What is the importance of this project to the institution?
  • Grant supported travel costs, hotel, meals, and time for visit and writing reportSubmitted May 2008, funded January 2009, report completed January 2010
  • Purchase preservation supplies to fulfill recommendations made in 2010 Assessment ReportScrapbooks: over 150 scrapbooks created by Kalamazoo College alumni between 1874 and 1983* stored in brown paperRehoused in custom boxesBlueprintsAbout 2,380 blueprints, plans and architectural drawings of the campus and college buildings stored rolled in brown paperFlattened, rehoused flat in ph neutral folders in new flat drawersWhy these? EasyNot high priority – may never have gotten doneDoable on this budgetSubmitted May 2010, funded January 2011, completed September 2012
  • Focus on A/V materials (films, slides, photos, negatives, cassettes, CDs)More of a priority – used moreSubmitted May 2012
  • NO: Focus on Kalamazoo College historyYES: “History and culture of Kalamazoo College, Baptists in Michigan and the Midwest, and the settlement of Michigan pre- and post-statehood”“Daily life in a growing Midwest town” “Experience of small liberal arts college life”Local history: can see trends if taken together!WE THE PEOPLE PROJEC TWe the People is an NEH program designed to encourage and enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history, culture, and democratic principles.
  • QuantifyHow many boxes?How are they stored?Time period?Origin (students, faculty?)Significant contentsGive ExamplesHow are they used? By whom? Exhibits?NO: “Several boxes of slides”YES: “Slide, Negative, and Proof Sheet Collection includes 32 binders and 3 boxes of slides, and 6 boxes of glass plate negatives.”NO: “Pictures of students and faculty”YES: “These images record the social history of the College, including athletic events, social events, buildings, images of students and faculty, photos taken by students studying abroad, and images of campus life from the 1950’s to the 1990’s.”
  • NO: “This grant will improve preservation and access” (How?)YES: “Working on this project has improved our knowledge of our collection and therefore we give better service”“Better storage makes collections more accessible and therefore more used”“Our materials will last for the long term”NO: “These improvements are important” (Why?)YES: We know how to handle materials for future digitizationProper storage and handling = longevityPreserve the historical record
  • NEH Preservation Grants at Kalamazoo College

    1. 1. NEH Preservation Grants at Kalamazoo College Collection Digitization and Preservation Workshop Michigan Collections Network Stacy Nowicki, Ph.D., J.D. November 14, 2012
    2. 2. About Kalamazoo College
    3. 3. About the Archives
    4. 4. Preservation Assistance Grants forSmaller Institutions
    5. 5. Grant Application• Narrative (5 pages)• Staff résumés• Budget (1 page)• Samples on the NEH website!
    6. 6. NEH Grant #1: Preservation Assessment• Asked for an expert to assess our collection – Eric Alstrom, MSU• Outcome: Assessment Report
    7. 7. NEH Grant #2: Filling Recommendations• Purchase preservation supplies• Focus on scrapbooks, blueprints The old way The new way
    8. 8. During!Before! After!
    9. 9. NEH Grant #3: Filling Recommendations(Again)• Focus on A/V materials
    10. 10. Tip #1: Your Collection IS NationallyImportant
    11. 11. Tip#2: Be Specific• Quantify• Give examples• Tell a story• Ask “so what?”
    12. 12. Tip #3: Your Project Will Advance theInstitution• How will it help you make improvements?• Why are these improvements important?
    13. 13. Tip #4: Don’t Reinvent the WheelGrant website includes:• Narratives of funded projects• Sample budget
    14. 14. Questions? Stacy Nowicki 269-337-5750