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Grant number: PG-233578-16

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St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN 55057-1574)
Aimee Brown (Project Director: May 2015 to present)

Item-Level Conservation Assessment of Rare and Valuable Books in the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College

A preservation assessment of the pre-1865 rare book holdings at the Hong Kierkegaard Library.  The collection, amassed by Howard and Edna Hong, St. Olaf alumni and the philosopher’s first English translators, is the largest set of works by and about Kierkegaard outside of Denmark.  This project would address the 8,000 oldest volumes in the library’s 20,000-item collection.  The collection is used by established and emerging scholars from around the world, figuring prominently in new works on Kierkegaard, and the library offers fellowships and programs for researchers at many educational levels.  This grant would support an item-level preservation assessment, including detailed condition descriptions of the most valuable books, item-level conservation recommendations and prioritization, and staff training.

The St. Olaf College Hong Kierkegaard Library preserves the literary and philosophical legacy of Søren Kierkegaard. Rare primary and secondary materials used by Howard and Edna Hong to produce the first English translation of Kierkegaard form the Library's nucleus, which also contains editions matching those in Kierkegaard's personal library, and treatises forming the historical context in which he wrote. The Library is the world's largest repository of works by and about Kierkegaard outside of Denmark. A program of fellowships enables the Library to serve more than 175 international and U.S. scholars annually. For this project, we will engage Sherelyn Ogden, Conservator and Preservation Consultant, to undertake an item-level survey of the holdings. Her report will include detailed descriptions of the condition of the most valuable books in the collection, recommended actions for conservation of each item, a priority list of items to be conserved, and training for St. Olaf staff.

Project fields:
History of Philosophy; Philosophy of Religion

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017