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Grant number: PG-52353-14

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Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4208)
Matthew Strauss (Project Director: May 2013 to present)

Prioritizing, Planning, Preserving: Managing Problematic Storage for Oversized Collections

The purchase of storage furniture and preservation supplies for oversized historical records held by the Senator John Heinz History Center. Included are maps, architectural blueprints, photographs, artwork, and posters that document the social and industrial history of Western Pennsylvania. Comprising 600 linear feet, the materials originate mainly from the Westinghouse Electric Company, the H. J. Heinz Company, and Alcoa and support research on the region's steel industry, urban revitalization efforts, and its numerous ethnic communities. Collection highlights include files relating to the Shippingport nuclear power plant, the nation's first commercial-scale nuclear facility, as well as the papers of Mary Carwell Dawson, founder of the National Negro Opera Company in Pittsburgh.

Funding would allow the Senator John Heinz History Center (HHC) to purchase storage furniture and preservation supplies to rehouse a portion of the HHC's oversize archival materials amounting to 600 linear feet that is in need of improved storage conditions. This material includes maps, blueprints, photographs, artwork, posters, surveys, publications,and rare prints that document Western Pennsylvania's industry, community organizations, urban renewal programs, and vibrant ethnic groups. The proposed project addresses three concerns regarding collections housing noted in a recent preservation assessment conducted by Laura Hortz Stanton of the Conservation Center,namely the problematic storage conditions of oversized, paper-based materials, and framed and rolled items. With realistic and attainable goals, the project would serve as an important first step in a process of enhancing the storage environment for its collections.

Project fields:
History, Other; Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Social Sciences, Other

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,722 (approved)
$5,722 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 6/30/2015