Morris County Prestigious Preservation Assistance Grant
Submitted by Lois McClellan
The National Endowment for the Humanities announced its award to the Morris County Park Commission of the prestigious Preservation Assistance Grant for their project, ‘Sustainable Management of Collections Environments with Limited Controls.’
This $10,000 award will support the assessment and monitoring of storage environments for collections maintained in three Morris County Park Commission sites. Maintaining optimal collections environments is important to the long-term preservation of Morris County’s valuable artifacts, but for many historic structures with limited controls, there have not been many options to intervene.
Working in partnership with the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, the Morris County Park Commission can now explore sustainable and low-cost solutions for maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity conditions for artifacts in buildings without HVAC, and in some cases, no electricity. The grant funds will support a three-day site visit to assess and survey 10 buildings with varying environmental controls. It will also support the purchase of e-Climate Notebook monitoring equipment, and the training of staff in using this data analysis software.
According to Melanie Bump, Curator of Collections and Exhibits of the Morris County Park Commission, “This award is important to the people of Morris County as valuable assets, which include a collection of artifacts relating to the 300 years of Morris County history, will be preserved.”
She added, “It will also inform new sustainable practices in environmental management of collections storage, impacting collections stewardship around the world.”
Dave Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission, added, “We should celebrate that Morris County received this most competitive and sought-after grant as it demonstrates the critical importance of this project and the Park Commission’s stewardship responsibility of local, regional and even national historical and cultural artifacts.”
The National Endowment for the Humanities received 102 eligible applications, and 45 Preservation Assistance Grants were awarded across the country. The Morris County Park Commission is one of only two institutions in New Jersey this year to receive this grant, and were funded at the full amount. The Endowment awards grants to top rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers. There are four levels of review before a grant is officially supported, including a final review by the NEH chairman.
Cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges and universities, public television, and individual scholars are all eligible for grant funding through the NEH.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.
About the Morris County Park Commission
The Morris County Park Commission features one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey. It currently protects and maintains 20,197 acres at 38 distinct sites plus offers a year-round calendar of events and activities for all to enjoy! Visit online at morrisparks.net.
About the Image Permanence Institute
The Image Permanence Institute (IPI) is an academic research center in the College of Art and Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) dedicated to supporting the preservation of cultural heritage collections in libraries, archives, and museums around the world. IPI achieves this mission by maintaining an active preservation research program that informs and advances professional-level education and training activities, publications, consulting services, and the development of practical preservation resources and tools.