National Grant Awarded to ESPL Foundation

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(December 17, 2018) Accomac, Virginia – Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation has been awarded a Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant will support a consultant to help staff prepare the library’s archives for the Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center to be built at the new regional library in Parksley, Virginia and opening in 2020. The consultant will also provide a half-day of training for ESVA Museum Network members. This grant brings the library’s collection into the national limelight for its value to humanities collections. The ESPL Foundation continues to raise funds for the construction of the ESVA Heritage Center and future support for staffing and collection preservation and access.

The consultant will be retained from Lyrasis, a national firm that supports advancing archives in libraries, historical societies, and museums. She will conduct a preservation needs assessment for the archival collections at ESPL, which will include one day of onsite work to identify formats within the collection, assess storage practices, and document needs for further preservation actions. The process will aim to assist the library in facilitating long-term access to its collections by preserving them, and identify preservation actions that will help ESPL achieve its access goals. A report documenting the collection, findings, and recommendations for improved collections care practices will be provided after the visit. The resulting report will consider the fact that ESPL will be moving into a new space to provide better preservation and access conditions for the archival collections, and will make recommendations accordingly.

While visiting the library, the consultant will also provide a half-day of training for library staff and Museum Network members on the care and handling of archival collections and basic preservation concepts and practices. This training session will help Museum Network staff and volunteers working with the collection better understand the collections care needs of archival materials. Participants will practice appropriate care and handling by working hands-on with ESPL’s archival collections. The Museum Network is a group of fourteen Eastern Shore of Virginia museums and history organizations that meet quarterly and is facilitated by Virginia Humanities.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency and one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. The ESPL Foundation’s grant is one of fifty-eight Preservation Assistance Grants awarded in the U.S. in this funding cycle and one of only two in Virginia. Completion of this evaluation process will open doors to other grant eligibility for the ESVA Heritage Center in the future.

To donate to or learn more about the ESVA Heritage Center and the future regional library, visit our donate page or call (757) 787-2500.