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American Folk Art Museum (New York, NY 10019-5401)
Valerie Rousseau (Project Director: July 2016 to June 2019)
Planning to Digitize and Create Broad Online Access to the Henry Darger Papers

Planning for the preservation and digitization of 38 cubic feet of manuscripts, scrapbooks, and other materials from the papers of American folk artist Henry Darger (1892-1973).

The American Folk Art Museum is the home to the single largest public repository of works by Henry Darger (1892-1973), one of the most significant self-taught artists of the 20th century. The Darger Papers collection totals 38 cubic feet and includes his epic 15,145-page novel called "The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion", other manuscripts including his autobiography and journals, scrapbooks, and 12 cubic feet of source materials used by the artist to make hundreds of large-scale illustrations for the "Realms." The manuscripts have never been published and are fragile, making access difficult and necessitating minimal handling. The grant will be used to consult with copyright and technical specialists, determine which materials will be digitized, complete a conservation survey, convene a panel of Darger scholars, and consult with digital humanities experts.

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Project fields:
Arts, General

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$50,000 (approved)
$50,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 5/31/2018