In their effort to aid nationwide humanities research, preservation, and education, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has endowed $10,000 to Athens State University. Out of 113 applicants, Athens State was one of 65 award recipients of the NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions. In total, the NEH awarded $31.5 million to support 226 humanities projects across the U.S. and $52 million in annual operating support for the national network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils.
NEH grants support research and education used to advance the preservation of historical materials and provide enriching experiences of study to humanities scholars. According to the NEH, the purpose of the Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions is to “Help institutions—particularly small and mid-sized institutions—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections, including special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine arts, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, and historical objects.”
The University plans to apply the grant money towards funding an archival staff training opportunity as well as hiring consultant, Margot Note, for the general assessment and planning of the Archives’ collections. “With thousands of records in our care, we couldn’t ask for a more needed service than a thorough assessment of our materials and our facility,” said Laken Smith, University Archivist and Assistant Librarian. “Margot Note is the perfect provider of this service as she is an experienced informational professional and a Women’s History educator. We’re excited to work with her so that we can gain a greater understanding of how to protect the collections we have, while also making them more accessible to others. We see the Archives as part of the university’s heart. When the Archives improves and strives to meet archival best practices, we become more viable. In turn, the university gains a stronger heartbeat and can maintain, preserve, and share its identity through the materials that we have.”
As a 200-year-old university, the Archives remains at the center of all history as it documents not only institutional history, but also state and American history. Smith considers the Archives a resource for “analyzing how everyday human actions shaped American history and how that past can impact our present and future.”
Athens State is pleased to be a recipient of the NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions and is excited to witness the impact this award will have on the preservation of Athens State’s historical documents in the Kares Library, museums across campus, and forthcoming digital accessibility and storage.
You may find the official NEH Press Release here and follow NEH on all social media platforms @NEHgov.