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Grant number: PG-51888-13

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Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania (Harleysville, PA 19438-1020)
Forrest Moyer (Project Director: May 2012 to present)

Assessment for the Mennonite Heritage Center Audiovisual Collections

Hiring a consultant to assess the condition and preservation needs of the Mennonite Heritage Center's audiovisual collection and to provide preservation training for its staff at a one-day workshop. Created in 1970, the collection includes more than 1,000 unique oral history interviews of Mennonites and Pennsylvania Germans speaking in their local dialects about life experiences, traditions, history, and culture. They are stored on various formats: 4,629 audiocassettes, 1,013 reel-to-reel tapes, 218 audio CDs, 92 vinyl records, 27 audio wire recordings, 104 VHS cassette tapes, 95 DVDs, 28 camcorder tapes, 19 motion picture films, 16 video reels, 730 video cassette tapes, and one Beta videotape.

The grant would provide for a consultant to assess the condition and preservation needs for the audiovisual collections of the Mennonite Heritage Center. The AV collections reflect the Pennsylvania German culture and religious teachings of this Pennsylvania Mennonite community from the mid twentieth century onward as the rural, agrarian group formerly separated by language, religion and culture was assimilated into the broader culture. The collection includes traditional Pennsylvania German songs recorded by older community members in the 1960s to thirty years of oral family histories recorded by Christopher Dock Mennonite High School students, as well as over 1,000 oral history interviews recorded by Christopher Dock Mennonite High School students in the 1970s-2000s. The requested funding would also provide for a one day workshop on preserving the audiovisual materials for MHC staff and volunteers.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

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

Grant period:
3/1/2013 – 8/31/2014