January 11, 2010
Mike Kelly has landed a $5,275 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that will fund a general preservation assessment of the Archives & Special Collections that he heads at Frost Library.
In late February 2010, Angelina Altobellis of the Northeast Document Conservation Center will visit Archives & Special Collections to survey the collections. Her report will identify at-risk collection materials, address fire protection and security concerns, provide recommendations for improving storage and handling practices, and review the general condition of library and archival collections.
“This assessment is long overdue and will be essential in identifying preservation priorities as we seek grant funding in the future,” Kelly said. “Ensuring the physical care of these materials is the first step toward making them fully available to students, scholars, and the public at large.”
The preservation project has also been designated a National Endowment for the Humanities "We the People" project and is being supported in part by funds the agency has set aside for this special initiative.
The goal of the “We the People” initiative is to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through support of projects that explore significant events and themes in United States history and culture.
In addition to housing the historic records of Amherst College, the Archives & Special Collections also hold approximately half of the known Emily Dickinson manuscripts along with major collections of Robert Frost, James Merrill, Richard Wilbur, and others.