National Endowment for the Humanities Continues to Aid Preservation of Gulf Coast History
Three Institutions Are Awarded Additional Grants to Continue Work
Praised for its quick reaction to the preservation and stabilization needs of the Gulf Coast’s historical and cultural institutions in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today additional grants to further assist three institutions in their painstaking and valuable work.
Grants were awarded to Tulane University, the Louisiana Museum Foundation, and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston Campus. To date, NEH has awarded over $2 million to Gulf Coast state councils, museums, historical sites, libraries, and educational institutions to help rescue the region’s history and better protect it in the case of any future disasters.
“The Gulf Coast represents a rich history that is truly representative of our nation as a whole. The people of the Gulf Coast—bound together not by race, ethnicity or religion, but by their shared values—built communities together that incorporated their many influences and passions,” stated Dr. Bruce Cole, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “We hope these grants will further advance the preservation of these communities’ great history and culture.”
The grants announced today are:
$368,511 to Tulane University—The Archives and Library of the Newcomb Center for Research on Women at Tulane University will preserve its collection of books, records, and manuscripts dealing with women’s education in the South by installing heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems and by acquiring new storage furniture. Hurricane Katrina’s winds damaged the roof of the library and archives, and flood waters damaged approximately 200 cubic feet of records. A previous NEH emergency award supported the dehumidification of the archival storage area and assisted in the treatment of collections threatened by mold.
$368,511 to the Louisiana Museum Foundation—Removed for safekeeping to an off-site location during Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana State Museum will return its extensive collection of documents on state and local history, the visual arts, and music to newly renovated storage facility at the Old U.S. Mint Building in New Orleans. Two previous emergency awards from the NEH in 2005 and 2006 offset the costs of transferring the collections from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, funded the purchase of temporary shelving, and supported a consultant report on remedial repairs to the Old Mint’s climate control system. The funds also allowed conservators from the Williamstown Art Conservation Center to assess the collections, recommend fumigation and other forms of remediation, present condition reports and treatment proposals for specific artifacts, and develop procedures for repatriating the collections to the Old Mint.
$12,978 to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston Campus—Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will acquire fans and other dehumidification equipment to help stabilize its library and archival collections, which were seriously affected by Hurricane Katrina. The grant also provides for staff to be trained on the use of the new environmental equipment. A previous NEH emergency award supported the services of a conservator, the purchase of storage equipment and supplies for the photograph collections and the hiring of technicians to re-house these materials.
NEH grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Throughout the year, humanities experts outside of the Endowment and members of the National Council on the Humanities consider all applications and advise NEH on the quality and significance of each proposed project.
Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities, its grant programs, and efforts to assist Gulf Coast institutions is available on the Internet at www.neh.gov.