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Grant number: PG-258333-18

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St. Vincent College (Latrobe, PA 15650-2690)
Elizabeth DiGiustino (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

Assessing First Priority Conservation Treatment Needs of the Special and Saint Vincent Legacy Collections

A consultation with a preservation specialist to recommend next steps in mold remediation for the library’s special collections. A previous NEH-funded preservation assessment identified an extensive mold outbreak affecting the rare books and manuscripts, and this second, more targeted consultation would determine which materials need individual attention from a trained conservator and which books can be safely cleaned by an outside vendor or by library staff. Of the 6,857 volumes, primarily of paper, parchment, or vellum, more than 100 are at least 500 years old and include theological and philosophical works of the Catholic Church and the Benedictine Order. The Saint Vincent Archabbey and College was founded in 1846 as the first Benedictine monastery in the United States.

An on-site visit and report by a Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts book conservator will identify conservation treatment needs of selected books and manuscripts of Special and Saint Vincent Legacy Collections of the Saint Vincent College Latimer Family Library and address the first priority for the Collections as identified in the Library's previous PAG grant. Determining treatment protocols will help stabilize the Collections in preparation for a move to new secure, climate-controlled rooms and improve their care and public accessibility. The Collection's handwritten documents dating back to the 12th century, incunabula encompassing various theological, literary and philosophical subjects, and works of Milton, Chaucer, Thomas Aquinas and Petrarch are important to scholars for their content, rarity and relevance, and to local and Saint Vincent history. They also show development of Western thought and culture through their texts, provenance and formats.

Project fields:
Literature, General; Philosophy, General; Religion, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

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

Grant period:
12/1/2017 – 6/30/2019