University Library Receives $1-Million Matching Grant for Preservation
Through a $1-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library will enhance its efforts to preserve endangered materials. Under the terms of the award, the Library will receive $700,000 in endowment funds on a two-to-one matching basis, contingent on its ability to raise $1.4 million in the next five years. These funds will provide permanent support for preservation efforts. The Library also will receive an outright gift of $300,000 to design and equip a conservation laboratory for items in need of treatment or restoration.
"This grant provides a valuable opportunity to invest in the future of our collections," explains Lyn Jones, the Library's director of development and public affairs. "Through the match from the Mellon Foundation, we can build an endowment that will support preservation efforts in perpetuity."
The need for a strong library preservation program is clear. The University Library is the largest public university library in the world, and its collections of more than 22 million items are valued at $1.5 billion. Its holdings are the result of nearly one and one-half centuries of investment, and they represent the vast history of humanity's intellectual achievements. In spite of these accomplishments, nearly 40% of the Library's world-class collections are in danger of physical deterioration.
"Until recently, the Library's focus has remained strongly on building collections," says Paula Kaufman, university librarian. "While there have been many preservation activities throughout the decades, there has not been-until now-a focused, comprehensive program, which will be enhanced significantly by this magnificent award from the Mellon Foundation."
Recent steps to strengthen the Library's preservation program include an in-depth assessment by a preservation consultant, the appointment of a preservation librarian and a conservation librarian, and plans for the construction of the Library's first high-density storage facility, which will house a conservation laboratory. The Mellon grant will energize these efforts and help the Library develop a preservation program worthy of national prominence.