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Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA 19103-6510)
Judith M. Guston (Project Director: December 2015 to present)
Analysis of Environmental Challenges at the Rosenbach

A planning project to assess environmental challenges, including the HVAC system, pest infestation, water infiltration, and light, affecting the Rosenbach’s 19th-century townhouse and to recommend sustainable solutions to protect its holdings of 30,000 rare books, and 300,000 manuscripts and its extensive decorative and fine arts collection of over 20,000 objects.

The Rosenbach's collections and historic house represent the core of its mission and the basis for its exhibitions and programs. Therefore, the long-term environmental and financial sustainability of the collections and building is paramount to the Rosenbach's continued success. The purpose of this project is to conduct a thorough analysis of the Rosenbach's environmental challenges--HVAC system, pest infestation, water infiltration, and light. These issues are familiar to many historic house museums and institutions with valuable collections acutely sensitive to environmental fluctuations. Rosenbach staff will work with three contractors and two consultants to analyze current conditions, identify proposed solutions ready for implementation, and achieve savings in energy, cost, and time with the ultimate goal of protecting the institution's collections. The project team anticipates that the results of this planning grant will be applicable to many other historic houses and museums.

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Project fields:
History, General

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Preservation and Access

$50,000 (approved)
$50,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 3/31/2019