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Grant number: PG-252817-17

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Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA 70125-1056)
Irwin Jay Lachoff (Project Director: May 2016 to present)
Herbert W. McGuin (Co Project Director: January 2017 to present)

Disaster Planning and Preparedness for Archives and Special Collections

The preparation of a disaster plan and the purchase of climate monitoring equipment, water detectors, and a light meter for the university’s Library Resource Center, which houses the institution’s archives and special collections.  Sources include 2,000 linear feet of records documenting the nation’s only historically black and Catholic university, established in 1915.  Notable special collections include the Charles F. Heartman Manuscripts of Slavery Collection, chronicling the lives of African Americans in Louisiana, both free and slave, from 1750 to 1890 as well as photographs of New Orleans-area black Catholic churches, clipping files from an anti-segregationist newspaper, The Crusader, and a handwritten poem by Fredrick Douglass.  A rare book collection comprising 7,500 volumes includes one of only three or four known original copies of Les Cennelles, the first anthology of African American poetry published in the United States.

The Xavier University of Louisiana Library Resource Center is requesting funding for the hiring of a consultant to assist in creating a disaster plan for the Library, as well as additional funding for monitoring equipment for the Archives and Special Collections department.  Xavier University of Louisiana is the only historically black and Catholic university in the United States.  The Library Resource Center, consisting of six stories, with the first four comprising the Library, was built in 1993.  While there is an "Emergency Procedures" policy in place for fire and smoke alarms, there is no disaster plan.  This grant will provide funds to hire a consultant to lead the Library in the creation of such a disaster plan.  The Archives and Special Collections recently concluded a NEH funded Preservation Assistance Grant.  That grant funded a consultant who reviewed Archives policies and procedure.

Project fields:
History, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,621 (approved)
$5,621 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2017 – 7/31/2018