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Grant number: PG-51953-13

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PG-51953-13

Muncie Public Library (Muncie, IN 47305)
Beth Kroehler (Project Director: 05/03/2012 to present)

Muncie Public Library Local History and Genealogy Collections Preservation Assessment

A preservation assessment of the library's historical collections, along with onsite training in storage and handling techniques for archives, manuscripts, and artifacts. The collections consist of published and original sources pertaining chiefly to Muncie, Indiana, subject of the iconic "Middletown studies" conducted by sociologists Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, which, in addition to their classic work, "Middletown: A Study in American Culture" (1929), also resulted in their subsequent volume, "Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts" (1937). Dating from the 1830s to the present, the materials include municipal and county property deeds, tax records, and criminal case files; documentation on area manufacturers, such as Indiana Steel and Wire; and diaries of local residents in the 19th and 20th centuries, including a 53-volume manuscript maintained by news reporter and avid local historian, Richard Greene, spanning the period from 1929 to 1983.

Muncie Public Library's archival collections document the history of Muncie and Delaware County through published books, periodicals, maps, local government records; photographs, manuscripts, ephemera, and artifacts-approximately 1,500 items from the 1830's-present. Muncie is "Middletown," the typical small American town studied continuously since Robert and Helen Lynd's groundbreaking sociological study "Middletown: A Study in American Culture" (1926). Collections also are available for student and genealogical research. This first assessment and its prioritized action plan will evaluate storage, environment, conservation, and guidelines needs to ensure responsible long-term stewardship of rare and fragile items as well as guide development of MPL's first comprehensive survey of the collections prior to cataloging and digitization. The training workshop will educate staff and volunteers on basic preservation maintenance, cleaning techniques, and responsible access to researchers.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$3,200 (approved)
$3,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 6/30/2014