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Grant number: PF-230269-15

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Boston Athenaeum (Boston, MA 02108-3764)
Dawn Walus (Project Director: December 2014 to present)

Review of the Boston Athenaeum Climate Control Systems for Optimization and Sustainability

Monitoring and assessment of the Athenaeum’s collection environments and HVAC systems to identify more sustainable operations for its historic building, leading to improved care for the institution’s holdings of fine art, rare books, manuscripts, and furniture.

Founded in 1807, The Boston Athenaeum is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the United States.  Its large, important, and varied collections form an essential resource for those studying the history or culture of Boston, New England, and the United States.  It is housed in a mid-19th-century National Landmark Building extensively renovated at the turn of the 21st century with a modern climate control system.  There, collections share space with the public, staff, members, researchers, and scholars.  The Athenaeum team and consultants from the Image Permanence Institute will work towards two goals: investigating current environmental mechanical systems which are providing inconsistent data on temperature and humidity and optimizing the systems for efficiency and sustainability, which will lead to better conditions for our materials and energy savings and a better use of resources.  It is our hope that this investigation will lead to more sustainable and cost-effective practices.

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Project fields:
American Literature; American Studies; U.S. Regional Studies

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$50,000 (approved)
$42,558 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2015 – 9/30/2017