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Grant number: PG-258322-18

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Girard College Development Fund (Philadelphia, PA 19121-4800)
Katherine H. Haas (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

Rehousing and Improved Environmental Monitoring of the Stephen Girard Archive

The purchase of preservation supplies to rehouse the papers of Stephen Girard (1750-1831), a prominent financier and philanthropist in the Early American Republic, along with environmental monitoring equipment for the college’s archival storage areas. The collection, housed in 800 boxes, includes 36,000 letters sent by individuals throughout the world to Girard, who at his time of death was the nation’s wealthiest person.  Also included are financial records pertaining to a crucial loan his bank provided to the U.S. government during the War of 1812.

Girard College houses the extensive archives and collection of Stephen Girard (1750 – 1831) the nationally significant merchant, banker, and philanthropist who at the time of his death, was the wealthiest person in America. The archive contains over 100,000 pages of documents and volumes and Girard’s personal belongings constitute Philadelphia’s greatest intact, single-owner object collection from the early national period; the pairing creates an exceptional resource for visitors and scholars which is also a touchstone for museums or individuals with related artifacts. Girard’s influence has been exhibited in a wide array of projects including scholarly publications, educational activities, exhibits, and media programming. Funding from this grant would be used to support improvements to the storage and preservation of the boxed manuscript materials in the Stephen Girard Archive, as well environmental monitoring for the archive, objects collection, and related historical collections.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,978 (approved)
$5,978 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019