For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
FAX (215) 567-7850
FREE LIBRARY OF PHILADELPHIA AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES GRANT
$200,000 grant to be used for preservation of historic Pennsylvania German manuscripts
PHILADELPHIA, May 17, 2011—The Free Library of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that it has received a $200,000 grant from the Save America’s Treasures program to preserve and digitize a selection of the Rare Book Department’s extensive collection of Pennsylvania German manuscripts.
The grant, awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and presented in collaboration with the National Park Service, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will increase access to the manuscripts through the Library’s digital collections and ensure that these critical primary source materials remain available for future generations.
These materials are important historical resources for scholars and the general public, providing insight into the early American practices and traditions that helped shape the current national identity. The manuscripts document the religious, business, trade, textile, and educational practices prevalent during the 1700s and 1800s, and the collection includes objects by several prominent Americans, including famed painter Jacob Eichholtz and Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Jasper Yeates.
The Free Library is also home to one of the largest public collections of Pennsylvania German fraktur folk art pieces, many of which have been preserved and digitized through a previous grant from The Barra Foundation. The generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities will complement our fraktur collection by enabling the Library to preserve and digitize additional rare and unique Pennsylvania German artifacts.
The Rare Book Department is located on the third floor of the Parkway Central Library and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours are available weekdays at 11 a.m. or by prior arrangement. Please call 215-686-5416 for more information about the collections.
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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.