Idaho State University’s Oboler Library receives Preservation Assistance Grant from National Endowment for the Humanities

POCATELLO — Special Collections and Archives in the Eli M. Oboler Library at Idaho State University has recently been awarded a Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“With these grants, the National Endowment for the Humanities continues its 50-year tradition of supporting excellence in the humanities,” said NEH Chair William D. Adams. “From scholarly books and humanities programs on college campuses to new digital humanities resources and preservation efforts at local museums, the projects receiving funding today will reach deeply into communities and expand access to our shared cultural heritage.”

The NEH granted $21.8 million in awards and offers for 295 humanities projects. Oboler Library is one of three institutions in the state of Idaho to receive funds during this grant cycle.

The grant awarded ISU’s Special Collections department will be used to retain a professional preservation consultant to assess policies, practices and conditions affecting the long-term preservation of the library’s rare and unique collections.

The consultant will provide detailed information on the specific needs of the collection in three main areas: First, short-term recommendations focusing on prioritizing immediate remedial preservation improvements; Second long-term recommendations to inform future planning for storage to accommodate collection growth, and to support improvements to storage and environmental conditions, fire protection, and disaster preparedness and third recommendations on ways to integrate the preservation needs of the collection into the overall strategic planning for special collections to effectively begin a regimen of preventive care.

Ellen M. Ryan, head of special collections and archives will serve as principal investigator, and Kristi Austin, reference librarian will serve as copilot on the project.

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 http://www.neh.gov.