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Grant number like: PG-52446-15

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Massanutten Regional Library (Harrisonburg, VA 22035)
Susan Versen (Project Director: May 2014 to August 2016)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016

Preservation of Genealogy and Local History Collection

Installation of archival-quality shelving, shadow boxes to protect high-risk items, and a light meter, as well as purchase of preservation supplies for historic photographs held in the Massanutten Regional Library Genealogy and Local History Collection.  Items of interest include a local Veteran’s History project containing 93 volumes of veterans’ life stories; the Vanishing Farm series documenting development on formerly rural lands; and the Valley Changes series chronicling eyewitness accounts of change in the region over the past century.  The collection also includes such notable items as a historic copy of the original Virginia Acts of Assembly, approximately 780 photographs, Civil War records, 739 family histories, 36 civic scrapbooks, and 100 recordings of local performers, as well as multiple other archival and institutional records.  The collection has been used by local and out-of-state researchers, as well as for family history research.

MRL’s Genealogy and Local History Collection is a repository for books, manuscripts, oral histories, files, ephemera, and maps pertaining to the history of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County and its families. Strictly a reference collection, these materials may be used by library visitors conducting research onsite. The collection, located on the first floor and in the section of the library built in 1951, is a multiuse area for material storage as well as patron study, photocopying and microfilm research. Many items in MRL’s collection are one-of-a-kind or one of very few copies. Many items are deteriorating. The current wooden shelving is not good for the paper and casings of these items, and we must begin protecting these materials. Installing archive-quality shelving, shadow boxes to protect selected items and a light meter as well as purchasing supplies to preserve historic photographs is a first step on the path to begin protecting and saving these historical treasures.