The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded St. Olaf College a $300,000 grant to support the construction of a new library vault to preserve the college’s special collections and archives. More than 1 million documents, photographic images, and artifacts in the collections tell the story of Norwegian immigrants who settled the upper Midwest and founded St. Olaf in 1874.
The NEH funding is a challenge grant to help generate at least $900,000 in additional gifts for the project.
“We don’t often think about taking care of old items and keeping them stable, but everything degrades and decays over time, especially objects made from organic materials like the papers, books, textiles, and artifacts in our collections,” says Head of Strategy for Library Collections and Archives Mary Barbosa-Jerez. “Building a new vault is an essential step towards the long-term preservation of these unique materials.”