Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance Grants

Period of Performance

1/1/2011 - 6/30/2012

Funding Totals

$5,989.00 (approved)
$5,989.00 (awarded)

Preserving the Metal Artifacts of Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

FAIN: PG-51121-11

Corporation for Jefferson's Poplar Forest (Forest, VA 24551-0419)
Jack Gary (Project Director: May 2010 to August 2012)

The purchase of storage cabinets and preservation supplies recommended by a professional conservator to rehouse tools and household artifacts from seven archaeological excavations at Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's home and plantation occupied from 1770 to the 1940s. These objects currently occupy 30 linear feet of shelving and include vulnerable iron and copper alloy artifacts.

This project will purchase the necessary storage furniture and equipment needed to create stable, low-humidity environments for the long-term storage of metal artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations at Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's retreat home and plantation in Bedford County, Virginia. The ongoing archaeological research at Poplar Forest has recovered a significant collection of historic artifacts that inform our knowledge of Thomas Jefferson's architectural and landscape designs and the lives of enslaved residents working on the plantation. Metal artifacts include architectural materials used as models to restore Jefferson's retreat house, personal adornment items such as buttons that once belonged to enslaved laborers, and metal tools used as part of the plantation. These metal objects are susceptible to deterioration without a controlled storage environment. The creation of two dry-cabinets will help preserve this culturally significant collection.