Federal Funding Impact Story #3

Project: Documenting Modern Living

Splash Page 3

Alexander Girard textile design floor plan, ca. 1956, on the IMA Archives Digital Archives Portal landing page (archive.imamuseum.org)

Granting Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities
Grant Program: Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Institution: Indianapolis Museum of Art
State: Indiana
Congressional District: Indiana US District 7
Grant Period: April 2012 – May 2015
Award Amount: $190,000
Institutional Match Amount: $221,000

Jobs Created:
The largest portion of the award received from NEH went to the hiring of two full time employees–one for 18 months, and the other for 24 months.

Project Description
Digitization of the Miller House and Garden Collection, and creation of a Digital Archives Portal for delivery of content.

What was the need for the grant?
The Miller House and Garden Collection documents the design, construction, decoration, and maintenance of the iconic mid-century modern property for over 50 years. When the house and garden were gifted to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, this important archival collection also came to the museum. To assist the IMA in successfully stewarding the home and the many collections materials that came along with it, increased access and better preservation of the archival collection were key. Digitization would solve both needs, and a grant would allow for the purchase of digitization equipment and the hiring of staff to undertake the years-long process.

What has been the primary impact of this project?
This project has allowed for unprecedented access to an important mid-century design collection that documents the legacies of Daniel Urban Kiley, Eero Saarinen, and Alexander Girard. The easy availability of this material has made it possible for the Indianapolis Museum of Art to present the story of the home to the Columbus and broader Indiana  and national communities at a level of detail and accuracy that would not have been possible without the grant award. Perhaps the greatest impact that this project has had is on the country’s future architects, as architecture students from around the country have requested the high-resolution images of the home and landscape architectural drawings to further their studies. Students of interior design have similarly benefited, and will continue to do so for many decades to come.

This grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities has also had a direct impact on the lives of the two full time, temporary employees hired with the grant funds. One has gone on to further the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives as their archivist, and the other was offered a job at a high-profile design company immediately following the grant period as a result of their work on the Documenting Modern Living project.

Submission by: Samantha Norling, Archivist, Indianapolis Museum of Art

Federal Funding Impact Story #2

Project: Preservation at the Charleston County Records Center


Granting Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Grant Program: Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions
Institution: Charleston County Government
State: South Carolina
Congressional District: SC 1st Congressional District
Grant Period: January 2016 – June 2017
Award Amount: $6,000

Jobs Created:
1 contract consultant job created

Project Description
Preservation needs assessment conducted by a Lyrasis consultant, along with the purchase of preservation materials to rehouse archival collections.

What was the need for the grant?
Many of the oldest, most valuable records held at the Charleston County Records Center (CCRC) were in need of preservation. Federal grant funds from the NEH aided in beginning the process of developing a preservation program through the preservation needs assessment and provided funds for rehousing materials needed to adequately preserve archival records.

What has been the primary impact of this project?
The project impacted the local citizens of Charleston County by developing a plan to ensure their records and their ancestor’s records are in good condition and accessible in the future. At the national level, this project looked at how to ensure that historical records of research interest will be preserved for future research purposes. The grant also made it possible for CCRC to purchase 150 archival boxes to rehouse historic Clerk of Court records that date pre-1950.

Submission by: Haley Doty Vaden, Records Manager, Charleston County Government

Federal Funding Impact Story #1

Project: Archives, Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance


Celebration (1934), Copyright, Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, All Rights Reserved. Courtesy of Douglas and Bruce Fraser.

Granting Agency: NHPRC (National Historical Publications & Records Commission)
Grant Program: Archives and Records Projects
Institution: Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance
State: New York
Congressional District: NYS 10th Congressional District
Grant Period: Numerous
Award Amount: Various
Institutional Match Amount: 30-50%

Jobs Created:
– Training for recent college graduates in US History, Political Science, Culture, and Literature;
– Full-time positions for Master’s degree recipients in archives management and services.

Project Description
Identification, processing, cataloging of archival records documenting great American choreographers and dancers.

What was the need for the grant?
The work of Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and Merce Cunningham, several of America’s greatest and iconic choreographers, has been preserved in various archives-related initiatives funded by federal grants from NHPRC, NEH, and NEA. These projects have ensured that generations of American dancers will have the opportunity to learn the works that reflect our culture at its creative best and American citizens of all walks of life will have the opportunity to study how our artistic endeavors reflect what our democracy has nurtured. The archival resources that preserve the fundamentals of our culture continue to   a)fuel employment for dancers, musicians, costume and set designers, teachers of dance; b)ensure shared opportunities for audiences to see and gain knowledge about expressions of American creativity; and c) make it possible for us to show our cultural accomplishments to and build bridges to those from other cultures. All of the foregoing are meaningful, useful, and long-lasting.

What has been the primary impact of this project?
Preservation of and access to documentation and information; enrichment of education of American culture and history; increased opportunities to reach beyond our own cultural borders. The choreography of all three of these great American choreographers now is seen and being taught nationwide (including all 50 states in the United States) and in many communities large and small. In numerous countries worldwide dance, along with music, are recognized as both inspiring and effective ambassadors.  (While the dance company managers have access to specific metrics related to use, educational impact, etc., I do not. Full-time positions were necessary to achieving preservation of these archival assets and access to the information and resources for the duration of the grants.  Subsequently, archivists continue to be employed to manage the archives and help others use them.

Submission by: Linda Edgerly, Director, Information & Archival Services, The Winthrop Group
Image Source