The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $1.25 million to the Duke University Libraries to help preserve extensive research collections and create a senior conservator position to aid in the care.
During the next three years, the Libraries' will raise a matching $1 million to endow the position, according to news release by Duke University Libraries. $250,000 of the grant will be used to appoint the new senior conservator before the endowment is fully funded.
The senior conservator will help bring attention to the "growing need to preserve and make accessible a wide variety of materials that are currently unavailable to researchers or could be damaged by use because of their fragile condition."
One-third of Duke's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library holdings currently require conservation treatments, according to a recent survey done by Duke Libraries.
“We could not realize our most ambitious goals without the Mellon Foundation’s generous support,” said Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs said in the Libraries' news release. “Our research collections are both deep and diverse in coverage and a powerful draw to scholars working in many disciplines. By improving our ability to preserve these materials for the next generation, this grant is supporting not just Duke, but the entire scholarly community.”