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Grant number: PG-258311-18

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Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, MA 01566-1138)
Caitlin Emery Avenia (Project Director: April 2017 to present)

Preventive Conservation of Hanging Textiles

The hiring of two conservators to conduct staff training and the purchase of rehousing supplies for preservation of 300 historic costumes dating to the 19th century. Opened in 1946, Old Sturbridge Village is one of the earliest living history museums in the United States.  The costume collection that is the subject of the proposed project consists of gowns, capes, cloaks, uniforms, and bags, documenting everyday life in rural New England prior to the Civil War.  It was identified in a recent assessment as a high priority for rehousing, due to its fragility, and is used frequently for research, education, and exhibits on 19th- century textile production.

The scope of this project is to build on the textile conservation assessment that was generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities at the end of 2016 and carried out in March 2017. A Preservation Assistance grant from NEH will allow the Village to 1) purchase archival garment boxes and acid free tissue to rehouse ten garments deemed most fragile by the conservation assessment, 2) construct hanging storage garment bags out of silk fabric for 299 garments, and 3) bring conservators from Museum Textile Services to conduct a textile conservation training workshop for staff and curatorial volunteers.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

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

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019