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Grant number: PG-51818-13

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Yankton County Historical Society (Yankton, SD 57078-3858)
Crystal Nelson (Project Director: May 2012 to present)

Preservation Training and Improvement for Storage and Access to Humanities Collections

Hiring two preservation consultants to offer training on collections care and purchase of storage supplies and environmental monitoring equipment. The collections of the Yankton County Historical Society and Dakota Territorial Museum include archives, photographs, material culture, and eight historic structures that document the history of the Dakota Territory and the city and county of Yankton during the 19th and 20th centuries. Of particular note is the first-person account by Ben Ash, the Deputy Marshal at the trial and hanging of Jack McCall, of the killing of Wild Bill Hickok in 1877. The collections are used for exhibits and by school groups and researchers, and have figured in National History Day competitions and publications.

The Yankton County Historical Society (YCHS) and Dakota Territorial Museum (DTM) collection dates between 1858 to 1960 and consists of approximately 10,000 items that include archives, photographs, material culture collections, books, and 8 historic structures. The NEH Preservation Assistance Grant will allow us to hire preservation consultants to assist in the following three activities: 1) conduct on-site training, with an emphasis on documentation, rehousing, reorganized storage, and environmental monitoring; 2) implement storage upgrades to humanities collections, and 3) improve public access through documentation and use of a PastPerfect database. Staff and volunteers from the community and students in nearby museum studies programs will be invited to participate in the preservation training. YCHS and DTM are preparing the collection for a move to a new facility and this grant will ensure proper documentation, care, and training as outlined in our Strategic Plan.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

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

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 6/30/2014