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Grant number: PG-51797-13

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Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, IN 46383-4520)
Judith Miller (Project Director: May 2012 to present)

Valparaiso University Special Collections Preservation Assessment

Hiring a consultant to undertake a preservation assessment of a rare book collection, a special collection and manuscript unit, and the university archives. Among the works in the rare book collection are important editions of the work of Martin Luther published between 1558 and 1800, a 1535 edition of Luther's Bible, and 16th-century pamphlets, one of which is the Papal bull printed in German condemning Martin Luther. Also of significance is the Bowden special collection, which documents the life and work of Valparaiso graduates, Charles and Katherine Bowden, active on Chatauqua and Lyceum circuits in the early 1900s, and a collection of poetry and short stories by the 19th-century Indiana poet, Idael Makeever.

Ten years ago the Valparaiso University archives were housed in a basement room with no climate control and the rare books and special collections were secured in two locked closets. Other than the one staff member and a six-hour per week student aide, nobody knew what was in either collection. The new Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources (CCLIR) was opened in 2004 with a large publicly accessible space dedicated to consolidating all three units into one department. Though a librarian was placed in charge of the department in 2007 and additional student positions have been allocated, the collection remains relatively unknown. A preservation assessment is necessary for the department's growth and evolution. An assessment will evaluate the collection's environment, enable staff to improve the collection's storage, protection and access and drive the special collection department's portion of the library's three-year strategic plan.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,845 (approved)
$5,845 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 6/30/2014