Grant Funds Increase Access to Collections

Janell Tuttle Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board

The University of Utah Marriott Library and the Mapleton Historical Museum recently completed projects funded in part by the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) grant program. The USHRAB is highlighting projects completed as part of their grant program. The USHRAB grant program has been active for the past 10 years. Grant projects focus on improving preservation and access to Utah’s historical records.

Image of completed boxes of personnel files

Completed boxes of personnel files

The Marriott Library project preserved records of the Kennecott Copper Corporation. The Library acquired a large collection of records from Kennecott in the early 1990s. This project involved identifying, organizing, and describing 189 boxes of unprocessed records.

Image of corroded staple in document

Corroded staple in document

As library staff worked on the project they encountered preservation issues, including corroded paper clips and staples throughout the personnel files. They were able to remove all paper clips and staples in a careful manner to prevent further damage to the records. The Library has an inventory of the collection available online. They plan to seek further funding to increase access through the digitization of the personnel records created prior to 1920.

Image of Mapleton Ward Choir in front of a house, circa 1905

Mapleton Ward Choir, circa 1905

The Mapleton Historical Museum has an extensive collection of photographs related to Mapleton City and its founding families. Through their grant project they identified, digitized, and properly housed 470 photographs. The Museum worked with Utah Valley University to host the digital collection online. Between this grant and a previous USHRAB grant, the Museum digitized over 900 photographs. Currently, 595 of those images are available online. Photographs that were stored away in file cabinets, boxes, and folders for the past 30 years are now housed in better storage conditions for long term preservation and are more easily accessible to the public.

To view other completed grant projects, see the blog post on placing newspapers online.

The USHRAB is staffed by the State Archives and assists both public and private nonprofit organizations in the preservation of their historical records. Grants are available to regional and local repositories and other nonprofit cultural heritage organizations. The USHRAB’s re-grant program is funded through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. For more information on the USHRAB and its grant program, visit the Archives website or this previous blog post.