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Grant number: PG-251882-17

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Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, MO 63701-4710)
Roxanne Dunn (Project Director: April 2016 to present)

General Preservation Assessment in Special Collections and Archives, Kent Library

A preservation assessment and the development of disaster preparedness plans for the university’s archives and special collections, comprising 3,300 linear feet of historical records, manuscript collections, and rare books.  The collection includes personal papers, business records, maps, oral histories, and photographs documenting the economic and cultural history of rural southeastern Missouri and the broader Mississippi Valley region, primarily during the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the rare books are European and Arabic works, dating to the Middle Ages, that support study in the history of printing and bookmaking.  Also contained are numerous first editions of notable authors, including Charles Dickens and Mark Twain and an internationally prominent collection of published works by and about William Faulkner, along with original research materials accumulated by Faulkner biographer Joseph Blotner.

Kent will hire a recognized, award-winning preservation consultant to assess environmental conditions, storage policies, and provide strategies to optimize preservation. Assessment will include development and implementation of a disaster preparedness and recovery plan. The assessor will provide condition reports pertaining to the needs of the University Archives, the regional history collections of southeast Missouri and the rare book collection. While the department contains a substantial rare book collection considering its University’s size, this assessment will provide insights pertaining to all aspects of the operations of Special Collections and Archives. Recommendations will be used to establish policies and procedures to integrate preservation practices into daily work, strategic planning, and development activities. Outcomes will improve the level of care and use by focusing on the needs of collections and by increasing communication with stakeholders.

Project fields:
History, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,910 (approved)
$5,910 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018