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Grant number: PG-258451-18

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University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)
Nicholas Mathew (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

Preserving and Sustaining the Department of Music's Instrument Collection, University of California, Berkeley

Purchasing environmental monitoring equipment, storage furniture, and preservation supplies with which to preserve and sustain a large collection of historical and rare musical instruments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The collection encompasses more than 150 instruments, including the world-renowned Salz Collection of stringed instruments (with antique violins, violas, and bows), a collection of 18 Baroque instruments, as well as wind instruments (woodwinds and brasses), percussion, keyboard, and other significant plucked and bowed stringed instruments. Highlights from the collection, which are used for research and educational programs, include the 1620 Antonio and Hieronymus Amati viola, made in Cremona, Italy, that bears the unique painted coat of arms of the Venetian Radetti family and was later acquired by Robert von Mendelssohn in Berlin in the early 19th century.

This NEH Preservation Grant is being sought to preserve a rare and important collection of historical musical instruments in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley. Students, faculty, and the community benefit from access to this collection through many avenues. These include research into the object histories, their authenticity, and provenance. It also includes instruction, performance, and public programming. Some of the instruments are used for exhibition purposes in the Department of Music and elsewhere. With a historical range situated primarily in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the instruments intersect with a long and rich cultural history. The NEH grant would support an environmental monitoring program and necessary preservation supplies and equipment so that these musical instruments will continue to resonate long into the foreseeable future.

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,963 (approved)
$5,963 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019