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Grant number like: PG-280947-21

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Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098)
Megan Yamanishi (Project Director: January 2021 to present)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$9,300 (approved)
$9,300 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2021 – 3/31/2022

Cornell College Archives Post-Derecho Preservation Assessment

A general preservation assessment of Cornell College’s archival collection by a preservation consultant to determine whether and to what extent the collection was damaged by the recent derecho and what mitigation efforts are necessary. The Russell D. Cole Library is both the academic library for Cornell College and the public library for Mount Vernon, Iowa. This private/public partnership began with the establishment of the library in 1905 as a Carnegie library, and has survived for over a century, including through a move to a new facility in the 1950s. The archives identify, collect, organize, preserve, and create access to college records and personal papers of faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the college for use by the college community and the general public. Using the site survey, the consultant would also work with the college archivist to develop a roadmap for digital collections, outlining digital collection development, metadata issues, digital preservation issues, and related plans for the college’s digital program.

In August 2020, Cornell College experienced serious damage as a result of derecho that resulted in a federal disaster declaration. The library building, which houses the Cornell Archives, experienced roof damage and lost climate control for several weeks, resulting in potential damage to the archive contents. This proposal requests funding for a professional assessment of the Archives to determine the current condition of the collection and what mitigation efforts, if any, are necessary for such damage. This site survey will also be used by the consultant to determine appropriate recommendations for general collections care, policies and practices, storage and handling, environmental conditions, disaster planning, and a roadmap for digital collection. Based on the consultant’s recommendations, Cornell will seek future funding for equipment and training.