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Grant number: PG-233725-16

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Newport Restoration Foundation (Newport, RI 02840-2932)
Margot M. Nishimura (Project Director: May 2015 to present)

Assessment of Historic Preservation Archives and Staff Training for Managing Public Access

A preservation assessment of an archive comprising roughly 200 linear feet of architectural plans, elevations, and photographic documentation dealing with the restoration of more than 80 historic structures in Newport, Rhode Island, since 1968. Included in the collection are important historical renderings of the James B. Duke mansion in Newport and documentation of other colonial and early houses that illustrate local architecture and also give insight into different restoration approaches over time, in some cases spanning more than two centuries. The archival materials are used for the foundation’s publications and educational programming. Once it is fully preserved, the collection would be more accessible to researchers from outside the organization with the potential to contribute to our understanding of the social and cultural histories of the Newport area and, more broadly, to the development of historic preservation in the United States. The grant would also support a two-day archival training workshop for the foundation’s staff and the purchase of some preservation supplies.

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF), founded in 1968 to preserve Newport's then threatened colonial architectural heritage, has an institutional archive fifty years in the making. Among its treasures are architectural plans, elevations, and photographic documentation of restoration from 1968 to the present of 80+ historic structures in the Newport, RI, region; plans from the firms of Horace Trumbauer and Frederick Law Olmsted for the expansion and landscaping of the Rough Point mansion in Newport; and other organizational records that bear witness to the remarkable history of a growing preservation movement in New England in the 1960s and 1970s. The NRF would like for its archives to support research into this movement and the history of heritage preservation generally. We are asking for a PAG of $6000 for a consulting archivist to advise on how best to do this and begin to train staff in best practices for managing access to the NRF archives, for staff and public alike.

Project fields:
Architecture; Cultural History; Public History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

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

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017