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Grant number: PF-50437-14

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University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)
Julie E. Arnott (Project Director: December 2013 to December 2015)
Liz Dube (Project Director: December 2015 to present)

University of Notre Dame, Rare Books and Special Collections, Sustainable Preservation Environment Project

A planning grant to address significant environmental factors--in particular, an aging HVAC system--that pose a threat to the applicant's Rare Books and Special Collections, which contain 175,000 volumes of printed books and periodicals dating from the 15th century to the present with topical strengths in Catholic Church history and theology, Irish Studies, Latin American Studies, Italian literature, and sports history.

The University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries requests $50,000 to develop a plan to address significant environmental factors posing a threat to the long-term preservation of its Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC). The Collections are housed in a dedicated underground vault area. The HVAC system that serves RBSC is original to the fifty-year old building and is not purpose-designed to serve the space: the zoning does not appropriately isolate work and collection storage. The heating, ventilating and cooling (HVAC) infrastructure is unable to meet the preservation needs of the collections and struggles to maintain even the broadest range of tolerances with respect to temperature and relative humidity (RH). The collaborative project team includes eight Notre Dame staff from the Libraries, Facilities, Utilities and the Office of Sustainability. This team will work closely with two environmental specialists from the Image Permanence Institute.

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Project fields:
Italian Literature; Medieval History; U.S. History

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$50,000 (approved)
$48,711 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2014 – 6/30/2016