University of Virginia Library Receives $1.5 Million for Preservation from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia a $1.5 million grant to create a large-scale, permanent preservation program to safeguard the U.Va. Library’s renowned collections for current and future generations.
The U.Va. Library has long been a pioneer in providing innovative access to its physical and digital collections. While basic preservation activities have taken place throughout the decades, this generous grant from The Mellon Foundation will let the Library focus particular care on our physical collections, which are heavily used and increasingly fragile.
$750,000 of the grant will fund the equipping of the Library’s new conservation facility in the Dell building, the hire of a Conservator for University Library Collections, and the supplies and materials needed to jumpstart the program. The new lab will include highly-specialized conservation equipment to enable in the conservation treatment of high-value, frequently handled, and rapidly deteriorating materials in both the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and in the University Library’s ten circulating collection libraries. Conservation activities in the University Library render inaccessible and damaged materials into restored and detailed artifacts, facilitating exhibition, digitization, and everyday research.
The other half of the grant is a challenge grant to support ongoing leadership of the preservation program. The Library will raise $1.75 million over three years and the total amount will then go into an endowment, the income from which will support this leadership position.