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Grant number: PG-52537-15

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Benedictine University (Lisle, IL 60532-0900)
Julie Wroblewski (Project Director: May 2014 to July 2015)
Kathleen Scullin (Project Director: July 2015 to present)

Preservation Assessment for Benedictine University’s Special Collections

A preservation assessment for a collection comprising 1,300 linear feet of historical documents and photographs and 3,000 volumes of rare books.  Most of the material pertains to the history of the university, founded in 1887 as a Catholic missionary institution focused on serving the needs of the large Czech immigrant community in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. The collection also includes documentation on more recent immigrant communities in the Chicago area, as well as the papers of United States Congressman John Erlenborn, who represented Illinois’ 14th district between 1965 and 1985.

Benedictine University would like to conduct a general preservation assessment of the approximately 1,300 linear feet of archive along with a 3,000 rare book collection. The assessment will evaluate the current storage environment and conditions of collections. We hope to learn recommendations for short-, mid-, and long-term preservation priorities to promote awareness and prioritize future projects, resource allocations, and policy changes. Because of the university’s origins, both the special collections and university history materials provide rich sources for humanities research in areas of immigration history, Czech and Eastern European American history, and history of liberal arts education. Our special collections also include U.S. Congressman John Erlenborn’s papers, Quiddity International Literary Journal and American poet Vachel Lindsay. Due to increased public outreach done by our librarians, public research requests have increased by 60% since 2011.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,977 (approved)
$5,946 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016