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Grant number like: PG-271743-20

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McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Corporation (Concord, NH 03301-7400)
Mirka Zapletal (Project Director: January 2020 to February 2022)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$10,000 (approved)
$10,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2020 – 8/31/2021

Preservation Assistance for McAuliffe-Shepard Special Collections

A preservation assessment for the archives of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, which serves as a living memorial to the first American in space, Alan Shepard, and the teacher who died in the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, Christa McAuliffe. The archival collection consisting of 14,000 cubic feet of photographs, letters, scrapbooks, artworks, and other ephemera relates to the life and career of Shepard, the national outpouring of response to the Challenger disaster, and other stories of the space age. These materials are used by the center for research and exhibitions chronicling this era of science and engineering in American history, highlighting themes of discovery, pushing boundaries, tragedy, and resilience.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center will engage a conservation and preservation specialist from the Northeast Document Conservation Center to provide a general preservation assessment of our special collections. As their specialist has noted in her letter of commitment, this assessment will cover: “possible risks to collections from building- and environment-related problems; fire protection and security concerns, including emergency preparedness; institutional policies and procedures as they apply to preservation; recommendations for improving storage and handling practices; and the general condition of a representative sample of paper-based materials, media, and photographs from the collections.” The assessment will also identify preservation priorities for MSDC and provide references and tools to enable us to make the most of the resources we already possess, as well as those we will acquire in the future.