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Grant number like: PG-50404-08

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Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314)
Emily Anne Bergman (Project Director: May 2007 to November 2009)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2008 – 8/31/2009

Preservation Training, Housing, and Environmental Control of Library Collections

Staff training in disaster preparedness and response and in the care and handling of the college's special collections that include rare books, archival papers, photographs, and other materials covering a wide variety of topics, such as California history and architecture, the works of Poet Robinson Jeffers, and the history of aviation. The purchase of a flat-file cabinet for oversized prints and drawings, of re-housing supplies, and of environmental monitoring equipment follows the recommendations of a previous NEH-supported assessment of the collections.

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. In 2006 and 2007, Special Collections has greatly increased promotion and resulting use of these materials while conducting a comprehensive preservation survey. The ensuing Preservation Assessment Report of 2007 identified three overarching issues, which can be addressed with the proposed grant. We will conduct disaster training and collection priorities assessment, improve storage conditions for targeted collections, and acquire additional monitoring equipment needed for ongoing environmental analysis. The 12 month project is scheduled for January through December 2008.