Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance Grants

Period of Performance

1/1/2012 - 6/30/2013

Funding Totals

$5,993.00 (approved)
$5,993.00 (awarded)

Preservation Storage Materials to Rehouse the Photographic Archive

FAIN: PG-51629-12

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (New York, NY 10001-5004)
Roberta Elliott (Project Director: May 2011 to September 2013)

The purchase of preservation supplies and storage furniture to rehouse 29,000 photographs documenting the society's work in the rescue, resettlement, and reunification of displaced persons and refugees since 1881 and particularly from the 1940s to the present. The collection includes images from the Holocaust; the transport of Soviet Jewry; the liberation of Jewish populations from Cuba, Egypt, and Romania; and the rescue of non-Jewish refugees from Vietnam and Afghanistan. An archival consultant would train the society's staff, interns, and volunteers in the management and rehousing of these images.

HIAS, founded in 1881, is the oldest non-governmental organization in the U.S. devoted to the migration needs of refugees and immigrants. Housed within our New York Headquarters are approximately 29,000 unique photographs, documenting HIAS’s work in the rescue, resettlement and reunification of refugees. We believe this collection comprises the most comprehensive and important photographic archive in the United States of Jewish refugee assistance and work. A previous NEH grant to the HIAS Photo Archives in 2010 identified the most pressing physical needs of the collection: the original prints and negatives are currently stored in non-archival, dyed hanging folders and should be transferred to archival-quality folders and flat boxes. We are seeking funds for preservation supplies and furniture and to hire a consultant to assist in our ongoing effort to insure the preservation of HIAS’s collection of historic photographs.