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Grant number like: PG-280966-21

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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PG-280966-21Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance GrantsAquinnah Cultural Center, Inc.Preserving Aquinnah Wampanoag Native Culture: Preservation Assessment for the Aquinnah Cultural Center9/1/2021 - 3/31/2022$9,334.00Berta Welch   Aquinnah Cultural Center, Inc.AquinnahMA02535-1546USA2021Native American StudiesPreservation Assistance GrantsPreservation and Access9334093340

A general preservation assessment for a collection of over 800 three-dimensional objects, 200 oral history recordings with tribal elders, archival records, archaeological artifacts, 112 paintings, and over 300 books documenting the history of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe. Much of the artifact collection is on display in a historic house originally owned by a prominent tribal family, the Vanderhoops. The collection has been used for tours and exhibits that interpret Aquinnah Wampanoag history from pre-colonial time through early contact, colonization, and survival, while also communicating belief systems and traditions. Researchers have used the archival collection to study whaling, Martha’s Vineyard history, and early Wampanoag history, and community programming has focused on preserving the Wôpanâak language.

This project seeks to utilize the expertise of consultants to further professionalize the collections care efforts of the Aquinnah Cultural Center. Currently, the humanities collections, both on display and in storage, are at risk from multiple deterioration factors. A number of objects are already showing negative environmental effects. Museum and Collector Resource, LLC, will conduct a collections assessment resulting in a formal preservation needs assessment report. The final assessment report would aim to prioritize the Center’s collections preservation needs and provide actionable goals for sustainable, longterm collections preservation. The ACC’s humanities collections are a valuable source for interpreting the history of the Aquinnah Wampanoag. Funding their preservation will be a step toward ensuring their longevity when so many native-controlled stories and collections have been historically marginalized and underfunded.