Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance Grants

Period of Performance

7/1/2018 - 12/31/2019

Funding Totals

$5,147.00 (approved)
$5,147.00 (awarded)

Continued Preservation of Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Collections

FAIN: PG-252845-17

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN 46204-1708)
Julia Whitehead (Project Director: May 2016 to present)

The purchase of storage furniture, environmental monitoring equipment, and staff training in storage techniques and use of the environmental monitors. The collection, which pertains to Kurt Vonnegut’s career, includes 70 first editions of the author’s novels, 25 signed copies, Vonnegut family photographs, approximately 500 volumes representing Vonnegut’s personal library, and assorted memorabilia. Particularly notable are the objects and ephemera associated with Vonnegut’s years as a soldier and prisoner of war, of note to researchers interested in the relationship of World War II and its aftermath with art, literature, and journalism.

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (KVML) honors the legacy of author Kurt Vonnegut and the principles of free expression, common decency, and peaceful coexistence he advocated. KVML operates a small museum in Indianapolis and presents special collections pertaining to Vonnegut’s life and works. The museum hosts approximately 15,000 visitors a year. However, before 2016, KVML did not have a preservation plan for its extensive collection of Vonnegut memorabilia, including first edition texts, artifacts from Vonnegut’s life, and cultural items from the projects Vonnegut inspired. Thanks to a NEH Preservation Grant, KVML has received an on-site assessment from a collections expert and is implementing its recommendations. This project aims to further the organization’s collection preservation through funding for storage furniture and environmental monitoring equipment. Preserving the collections housed by KVML is essential to preserving Vonnegut’s legacy.