Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance Grants

Period of Performance

1/1/2007 - 6/30/2008

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

Preservation Assessment of Library's Special Collections

FAIN: PG-50090-07

Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314)
Emily Anne Bergman (Project Director: May 2006 to October 2008)

A preservation assessment of the library's special collections, which include papers and works by poet Robinson Jeffers, writer Upton Sinclair, and artist Gordon Newall. The library also houses the Risdon Collection on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War and a collection of first-person narratives by explorers and settlers of the American West.

In over 120 years, Occidental College Library has acquired many notable items, including cuneiform tablets, illuminated manuscripts, first editions of great literature, and audio recordings by luminary authors. These items, numbering approximately 100,000 items, focus on literature, history, and the arts and were collected to serve academic needs. Issues related to preservation have been addressed solely through the use of air conditioning and a policy of restrictive access; however, monitoring of temperature and humidity has never been undertaken. As Special Collections department strengthens its efforts to promote the use of its materials, the need for proper preservation becomes more pressing. The preservation assessment, to be conducted by a preservation consultant, will document current conditions, develop plans for ongoing monitoring, and make recommendations for short- and long-term strategies for storage and preservation. The 12-month project is scheduled for January through December 2007.