neh preservation grants at kalamazoo college

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NEH Preservation Grants at Kalamazoo CollegeCollection Digitization and Preservation WorkshopMichigan Collections Network Stacy Nowicki, Ph.D., J.D.November 14, 20121About Kalamazoo College

Founded 1833Liberal artsUndergraduate onlyAbout 1372 studentsLibrary renovated in 2006

2About the Archives

History of the CollegeNo local history collection college history only

One part time Archivist Two student assistants

Housed in the LibraryWorkroom, storage area, off site storage

3Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

Help small and mid-sized institutionspreserve 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 training

Fund 41% of requests in the last five years

4Grant ApplicationNarrative (5 pages)Staff rsumsBudget (1 page)

Samples on the NEH website!

Application narratives, budgets on NEH website


What 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?

5NEH Grant #1: Preservation AssessmentAsked for an expert to assess our collection Eric Alstrom, MSU

Outcome: Assessment Report

Grant supported travel costs, hotel, meals, and time for visit and writing report

Submitted May 2008, funded January 2009, report completed January 2010

6NEH Grant #2: Filling RecommendationsPurchase preservation suppliesFocus on scrapbooks, blueprints

The old way

The new wayPurchase preservation supplies to fulfill recommendations made in 2010 Assessment Report

Scrapbooks: over 150 scrapbooks created by Kalamazoo College alumni between 1874 and 1983* stored in brown paperRehoused in custom boxes

BlueprintsAbout 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 drawers

Why these? EasyNot high priority may never have gotten doneDoable on this budget

Submitted May 2010, funded January 2011, completed September 2012


Before!After!During!8NEH Grant #3: Filling Recommendations (Again)Focus on A/V materials

Focus on A/V materials (films, slides, photos, negatives, cassettes, CDs)

More of a priority used more

Submitted May 2012

9Tip #1: Your Collection IS Nationally Important

NO: Focus on Kalamazoo College history

YES: 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.

10Tip#2: Be SpecificQuantify

Give examples

Tell a story

Ask so what?

QuantifyHow many boxes?How are they stored?Time period?Origin (students, faculty?)Significant contents

Give ExamplesHow are they used? By whom? Exhibits?

NO: Several boxes of slidesYES: 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 facultyYES: 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 1950s to the 1990s.

11Tip #3: Your Project Will Advance the InstitutionHow will it help you make improvements?

Why are these improvements important?

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 serviceBetter storage makes collections more accessible and therefore more usedOur 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

12Tip #4: Dont Reinvent the WheelGrant website includes:Narratives of funded projectsSample budget

13Questions?Stacy NowickiStacy.Nowicki@kzoo.edu269-337-575014