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Grant number like: PG-52334-14

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Museum of Northern Arizona, Inc. (Flagstaff, AZ 86001-8348)
Patricia Walker (Project Director: May 2013 to April 2016)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 6/30/2015

Rehousing Acetate Film Collection of Native American Art from the Colorado Plateau

The rehousing of approximately 3,500 acetate negatives contained in a photographic archive documenting research on the Colorado Plateau region. The collection covers the ethnographic work of the museum's founders, Harold S. and Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, who studied Hopi culture and society. The photoarchives contain images of the 84-year history of the Heritage Program Festival, which captures the artistic work of various Native American tribes. The photos are used by tribal members for understanding the techniques and design elements used to create pottery, basketry, and paintings, as well as for deriving inspiration for current artistic creations. The rehousing of the negatives in archival sleeves will help prepare at-risk images for future digitization.

The goal of this project is to address the urgent top priority preservation needs of the Museum of Northern Arizona's (MNA) endangered photoarchives as identified by a Photographic Materials Conservator during an August 2012 IMLS-funded conservation survey. Serving as an important resource for scholars, staff, tribes, and the public, the photoarchives are unique, irreplaceable, primary documents that record 84 years of research and collaboration between staff, researchers, and tribes in northern Arizona. Activity 1: rehouse six drawers of acetate negatives that are at risk of deterioration due to vinegar syndrome. Application of appropriate rehousing materials will stabilize the acetates until they are digitized and frozen. Activity 2: locate and rehouse prints associated with the negatives. Activity 3: transcribe information physically located with the acetates and their associated prints. This information, along with essential metadata, will be entered into the archives database.