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Eight Preservation Projects in Seven States Awarded $3.2 Million to Support Stabilization of Humanities Collections

Six earn recognition as We the People projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2005)--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that cultural institutions in seven states will receive $3.2 million for eight projects to preserve and stabilize their humanities collections. Six of these have been named We the People projects, a special recognition by the NEH for model projects that will preserve resources that are critical to the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture.

"Over the past 15 years, NEH has awarded more than $52 million to stabilize collections representing more than 33 million archaeological, ethnographic, and historical objects important for research, education, and public programming in the humanities," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole.

Stabilization grants help museums, libraries, archives, and historical organizations preserve their humanities collections through support for improved housing and storage, environmental conditions, security, lighting, and fire protection, which remain the most effective preservation measures institutions can employ to ensure the longevity of their cultural collections.

Several projects have received offers of federal matching funds totaling $192,299; institutions receiving such offers must generate equivalent support from individual, foundation, or corporate donors.

These six institutions received We the People stabilization awards:

* The American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pa., will receive $600,000 and up to $50,000 in matching funds to install fire and security systems to protect the papers of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine and the works of Albert Einstein and Franz Boas;

* The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Mass., will receive $36,398 and up to $42,299 in matching funds for new storage furniture that would help to rehouse the museum's centuries' old textile collection;

* The Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vt., will receive $584,041 for new lighting and fire protection to improve the display and protection of its American decorative, fine, and folk art collections;

* The University of South Carolina, Columbia, will receive $93,405 to rehouse and preserve 11 million feet of newsreel film from the first half of the 20th century;

* The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, will receive $222,615 to improve the environmental and storage conditions to preserve its collection of fine, decorative, and folk arts and agricultural tools and machinery; and

* The Virginia Historical Society in Richmond will receive $488,077 for new shelving to make its enormous collection of business-history records more accessible to scholars of the nation's finance, commerce, and transportation industries.

Two other cultural institutions also received stabilization grants from NEH:

* The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., will receive $600,000 and up to $50,000 in matching funds to rehouse some 20,000 works of art that range from Asia to America and from antiquity to the present; and

* The Philadelphia Museum of Art will receive $600,000 and up to $50,000 in matching funds to purchase new storage furniture for the 150,000 drawings, prints, and photographs that it is about to relocate to a newly acquired building that the museum has renovated and expanded.

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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: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Office of Communications at (202) 606-8446 or info@neh.gov