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Grant number: PG-52475-15

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PG-52475-15

Town of Rockingham (Bellows Falls, VT 05101-1555)
Emily Zervas (Project Director: 05/05/2014 to 04/21/2015)
Nancy Tusinski (Project Director: 04/21/2015 to present)

Rockingham Free Public Library's Cataloged Photograph Collection Glass Plate Negative Rehousing Project

The purchase of archival-quality storage furniture and rehousing supplies for the Rockingham Free Public Library’s Cataloged Photograph Collection, and a datalogger to monitor the environmental conditions of the collection’s storage area.  The collection contains materials dating from the 1860s through the 1970s documenting town celebrations, famous local events and visitors, the evolution of land use, public buildings, schools, disasters, railroad history, bridges and canals, industry, and local culture in the Rockingham, Vermont area.  This project would address 46 large mounted and un-mounted prints, 35 framed photographs, and 1,384 glass plate negatives.  Items of particular interest include aerial views documenting changes to the local Bellows Falls over the second half of the 19th century; an 1869 photograph of Ulysses S. Grant speaking from the area’s luxury hotel; and a portrait of the Wall Street genius Hetty Green on her Bellows Falls porch.  The most frequently consulted local history collection in the library, the Cataloged Photograph Collection has been used by local researchers and visiting scholars exploring changes to the local environment, immigrant populations, notable figures, architecture, culture, and family history.  This grant would enable relocating the collection from a small closet to a more appropriate location, as recommended in a previous preservation evaluation.

The Rockingham Free Public Library seeks to rehouse and properly store components of its extensive and popular Cataloged Photograph Collection. This collection contains photographic material from the 1860s-1970s and has provided visual information to support historic research on a broad range of topics of both local and national significance. Funds from The National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistant Grant will support the rehousing training and purchase of archivally sound housing materials for the collection’s glass plate negatives and the purchase of a flat file to house larger format photographic prints. The furniture and rehousing activities would support the goal of a stable storage environment for the Library’s most popular local history collection.

Project fields:
Architecture; Public History; U.S. Regional Studies

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

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

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016