Guthrie announces grant for project at Kentucky Museum

Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) announced Tuesday (Aug. 21) that the National Endowment for the Humanities is awarding $50,000 to the Sustainable Environment Planning Project at the Kentucky Museum.
“The Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University is a fantastic resource and a great asset to our community,” said Guthrie. “This grant will allow the university and museum to further its commitment to sustainability. It is no surprise to me that the National Endowment for the Humanities selected the Kentucky Museum through its competitive grant program.”
“The Kentucky Museum and Library Special Collections provide unique and valuable opportunities for a greater understanding of the cultural, historical, social and economic foundations of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States,” said Dr. Cheryl Davis, Associate Provost for Research and Creative Activity at WKU. “This grant will not only lead to an improved preservation environment for the collections of the Kentucky Museum, it will also allow for enhanced educational opportunities and improved access for future students, faculty and staff and the community.”

The Kentucky Museum will use the grant to create a Preservation Environment Improvement Plan for collections housed at the Kentucky Building on the WKU campus. This category of grants supports preventative conservation measures to prolong the useful life of collections to help cultural institutions preserve large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations. One of 218 humanities projects from across the country to receive funding, the Kentucky Museum is one of three successful applicants from Kentucky program-wide and one of 14 U.S. institutions to receive a grant in the category of Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Kentucky Museum Director Brent Bjorkman said: “The NEH continues to be a steadfast partner in helping the Kentucky Museum reach our goal in effectively sharing our collection and cultural programs with our ever-widening community.”

This project will look for sustainable solutions that enhance the preservation of collections and materials housed in the Kentucky Museum and its on-campus partner, Library Special Collections. In addition to representatives from several affected WKU departments, including Energy Management and Planning, Design and Construction, members of the Project Team will include two outside conservators, Steven Weintraub of Art Preservation Services, who specializes in the environmental preservation of collections in museums, archives and historic buildings, and Shelley Paine of Shelley Reisman Paine Conservation, who is an objects conservator with extensive experience with museum assessments and collection surveys. 

According to Project Director Sandy Staebell, the Kentucky Museum Registrar/Collections Curator, “The Kentucky Museum and Library Special Collections faculty and staff consider ourselves the stewards of the cultural history housed in the Kentucky Building. We constantly look for ways to upgrade the care we give our collections, and this grant affords us a significant opportunity to improve the preservation of these precious objects.”

The grant project will run for 12 months and result in the creation of a master preservation environment improvement plan.

Contact: Lauren Gaydos, (202) 225-3501; or Brent Bjorkman, (270) 745-6261

Posted with permission from WKU News