Preservation and Access Research and Development

Preservation and Access Research and Development grants are designed to support projects that address major challenges in preserving and providing increased access to humanities collections and resources.  Applications should aim to define a specific preservation problem, devise procedures and potential solutions, explain how researchers would evaluate their results, and propose a method for propagating their findings. The deadline for applications is May 1st, 2014, for projects beginning in January 2015. For more information, and to view sample applications, please visit the homepage for the grant program.

In the past, projects have devised methods for increasing access to archived collections that had not yet been digitally preserved. Other projects have explored new ways to provide sustainable heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to operate in collection environments. These methods reduce energy costs while safely preserving materials in archives and museum collections.

The program has awarded grants to a wide range of institutions across the country, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where researchers are establishing guidelines for the safe handling and storage of nitrate film stock. Many historic films are available only on nitrate film, which is highly flammable. The researchers will complete their project over a 30-month span, and will provide institutions with cost-benefit analyses for preserving nitrate film holdings. Cornell University received funding to develop a technical framework for creating access to digital media art, using the holdings in Cornell’s Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art as a test bed. The project began in February 2013 and aims to not only provide preservation models for new media art, but to also allow researchers enhanced access to the art works, and to document innovative research in digital preservation for other archives and curators.